April 27, 2001

One-day tournament (Departments): Habib Bank lift the trophy after convincing win over National Bank in the Final

Habib Bank outclassed National Bank in all departments of the game, achieving a comprehensive 8-wicket victory of National Bank in the final of the One-day tournament (departments).

Helped by attacking half-centuries from Saleem Elahi, Taufeeq Umer and Younis Khan, HBL cruised to their target of 193 (49 overs) in the 30th over of the innings.

Saleem Elahi and Taufeeq Umer opened the HBL innings in a hostile manner, collecting 14 off Sami's first over. Sami and Shabbir bowled a few tidy overs after that, but failing to find any breakthrough, they only assisted the batsmen in settling down. Elahi was soon to show his belligerence, as he smashed Sami for four boundaries in the 5th over, the first three, of which went between the two fielders posted at gully.

However, it was more or less Elahi after that as he compiled boundaries at perfect ease. The right-hander reached his half-century, his fourth consecutive score over 50 in this tournament, off only 40 balls, which contained 9 beautiful boundaries.

It was not long after that when the Bankers acquired the hundred of the innings in the 15th over, as Saleem found two more boundaries in one over from Imran Javed.

However, the next over saw a slight reversal of fortunes. Mushtaq Ahmed, the skipper, struck twice in just his second over, 16th overall, when he first had the aggressive Elahi (61 off 53, 12 fours) caught at point by Naumanullah. He then tested the new comer Imran Farhat with a perfect leg break and found the left-hander missing the line of the ball to be adjudged lbw for naught. Younis Khan came in next and avoided a possible hat trick by fending the ball to the off.

Taufeeq, meanwhile, kept his cool, finding runs to all corners of the park. He got to his fifty off 62 balls, after driving Mushtaq through covers for his sixth four. This shot was followed by a six over the head of the bowler. The little leggie conceded 15 runs in his next over, including two fours and a six by Younis, the scoreboard showing 162 in only 24 overs.

The remaining 31 runs were reached in around five more overs, as Younis and Taufeeq unleashed a flurry of fours and sixes, taking Habib Bank to a comprehensive victory inside 30 overs.

Taufeeq remained not out on 71 (84 balls, 7 fours, 1 six) and Younis Khan made an aggressive unbeaten 51 (38 balls, 6 fours, 2 sixes) to ease their side's way to victory.

Earlier, it was a fine collective bowling effort by HBL, which restricted NBP to a manageable 192 in their allotted 49 overs.

The left-arm pace man Kabir Khan was the main destroyer for the winners. After getting rid of Qaiser Abbas in the first over of the morning, he went on to grab three more overs in his opening spell to finish with figures of 3 for 38.

Losing 6 wicket for just 100 on the board, after initial fireworks from Imran Nazir (46 off 24), NBP never looked in contention of posting an imposing total. However, an 86-run 7th wicket stand between middle order batsman Mohammad Javed (49 off 96) and skipper Mushtaq Ahmed (32 off 46) brought a much needed respectability to the total, with their innings closing at 192 for 9 after 49 overs.

Kabir Khan was well supported by veteran Sajid Shah, who bagged two wickets for 44. The left arm spinner Abdul Rehman, finding considerable turn in the pitch, took two wicket for 23.

In a post-match ceremony, the Deputy Commissioner Sheikhupura Mr. Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera gave away the winner's trophy and check of Rs. 75000 to the Habib Bank captain, Akram Raza.

Taufeeq Umer and Kabir Khan were adjudged the best batsman and the best bowler of the final, and were presented with checks of 10,000 rupees plus glittering trophies.

Saleem Elahi, Naeem Akhtar, and Kamran Akmal were declared, respectively, the best batsman, best bowler and best wicket keeper of the 8-team tournament.

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