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Gauhar, Iftikhar tons lead Peshawar to title

Peshawar 321 for 2 (Gauhar 145*, Iftikhar 131*) beat Karachi Whites 197 (Anwar Ali 51, Iftikhar 3-12) by 124 runs
Scorecard

Unbeaten centuries from Gauhar Ali and Iftikhar Ahmed crushed Karachi Whites and gave Peshawar the Regional One Day Cup at the National Stadium in Karachi. They joined hands at 45 for 2 in the 12th over and propelled Peshawar to 321 with an unbroken 276-run stand - the highest for any wicket this season.

Facing a steep target, Karachi lost their openers within five overs, and although the middle order mounted a fight, they slumped to 197 all out. Iftikhar followed his career-best 131 not out with bowling figures of 3 for 12 in four overs. Gauhar and Iftikhar shared the Man-of-the-Match award.

Having been sent in, Peshawar lost Musadiq Ahmed for 1 in the fifth over. Israrullah, who struck an unbeaten 153 against Karachi Blues in the semi-finals, fell in the 12th over. Gauhar and Iftikhar then took the side past 100 in the 23rd over. Soon after, both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, but it was Gauhar who reached three figures first, in the 41st over. Iftikhar got there four overs later as Peshawar seemed set for a hefty score. They kicked into a higher gear in the last five overs, taking 59 runs. Gauhar ended with 19 fours and one six, while Iftikhar ended with 13 fours and one six.

Karachi Whites used as many as seven bowlers but they could not find a way past Gauhar and Iftikhar.

That their openers departed early only accentuated their woes. Akbar-ur-Rehman, the Karachi captain, and Saad Ali added 59 for the third wicket, before Akbar was run-out for a 48-ball 45. Anwar Ali gave them hope by hitting a 46-ball fifty, but was bowled by Sajid Khan off the next ball.

From 160 for 4 in the 31st over, Karachi were ultimately dismissed in 39.5 overs. Sajid and Taj Wali claimed two wickets each to complement Iftikhar's part-time offbreaks.