<
>

Nawaz four-for seals Karachi Blues' tense title win

Karachi Blues 182 for 3 (Manzoor 70, Alam 67*) beat Karachi Whites 179 for 8 (Abbas 47, Nawaz 4-26) by three runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Karachi Whites threatened to chase down 183 with a rapid 61-run opening stand and late blows from Tariq Haroon and Sohail Khan, but Mohammad Nawaz defended ten runs off the final over to give Karachi Blues the title.

With Whites needing 11 off the last over with four wickets in hand, Mohammad Hasan reverse-swept Nawaz's first ball for four. Nawaz came back with a dot and then an arm-ball that took Hasan's middle stump. Azam Hussain sliced a couple over the covers before falling lbw off the next ball. It ultimately boiled down to five off the last ball. Mir Hamza heaved at it, and could only manage a double.

Nawaz, playing only his second game of the tournament, finished with figures of 4 for 26. He had taken the first two wickets of the Whites' innings as well. He bowled Asif Zakir for 32, and in his next over removed Asad Shafiq for 6. The two wickets dragged Whites back after they had raced to 60 in the first seven overs.

Nawaz was helped by his fellow spinners - Saeed Ajmal, who capped the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 20 scalps, and Mohammad Asghar. They picked up two wickets each. Karachi Whites eventually got to 179 for 8 thanks to late cameos from Tariq and Sohail. Haroon hit 38 off 17 balls, while Sohail 24 off 11 balls.

Blues' win was set up by half-centuries from Khurram Manzoor and Fawad Alam. Alam set about reviving the innings after the early loss of the openers, with a brace of pulled fours. Manzoor, becalmed till then, struck three fours in four balls, and motored to his half-century in 36 balls, bringing it up in the 15th over. By then, Blues were 118 for 2.

Manzoor kicked into a higher gear when he crashed back-to-back sixes off Azam in the 17th over. But he fell next ball, skewing a catch to gully. Alam then reached his own half-century off 35 balls, and was assisted by Mohammad Sami's unbeaten 20 off 10 balls. Blues took 64 off the last five overs, and it proved just enough to deny Whites.