Karachi Blues 215 (Shahzaib 67, Rehman 4-52) and 187 (Asim Kamal 50*) beat Habib Bank Limited 195 (Umar 100*, Tanvir Ahmed 5-85) and 66 (Sami 6-38, Tanvir Ahmed 4-27) by 141 runs
If ever a fast bowling pair were going to do something special this season, it was likely to be Karachi Blues' new-ball duo of Mohammad Sami and Tanvir Ahmed. That it happened in such dramatic manner inside three days of Pakistan's premier tournament's final at the National Stadium was perhaps surprising, but their awesome collaboration had Habib Bank Limited (HBL) done and dusted in a trice. Maintaining the consistency they have struck up this season Sami, 28 and on the verge of a new lease on life thanks to a Pakistan recall, and Tanvir, 31 and never quite close to national reckoning, combined quite wonderfully to steamroll HBL for 66 in 21 overs to deliver Karachi their eighth title triumph since the competition's introduction in 1953.
Sami, who will now hop on board a flight to team up with the Pakistan squad ahead of the Boxing Day Test, has given himself a massive leaping board for his first international assignment in two years. For Tanvir, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, a match haul of 9 for 112 was the best way to cap off a tremendous season.
Karachi began day three nine down and with a lead of 195, and added 12 to their total as former Pakistan batsman Asim Kamal reached a round unbeaten 50. What followed was inspirational stuff, with Sami, Karachi's captain, and Tanvir running through HBL. An opening stand of 32 was snapped by Sami, setting the ball rolling for a manic capitulation, and according to observers he bowled a pretty fierce spell. He and Tanvir picked off the batsmen like ducks in a plastic shooting gallery: no partnership was even allowed to think about forming, the highest score was 15, and there were 11 extras.
Prominent among Sami's six victims were Younis Khan, for his second single-digit score of the game, and former internationals Saleem Elahi and Humayun Farhat. Tanvir's 4 for 27, to go with five in the first innings, included the HBL captain and former teenage prodigy Hasan Raza for 4. The lower order was shot out in a blur with the last four wickets falling for 11 runs.
What a pitch this was for bowlers. On the first day 12 wickets fell, on the second 17, and on the third 11. Sami will want to wrap it up and take it with him to Australia.
Individually, this win was a triumph for him and especially Tanvir, who has carried Karachi's attack all season. Tanvir topped the bowling charts with 85 wickets from 11 matches at 17.12, and has been key to Karachi's domination at the top of Group B. Sami was well behind him with 38 from ten games, but this was the best way to sign off his domestic season and head to Australia. Sami was a surprise addition to Pakistan's Test squad last week after the team management requested support for a fatigued outfit, and they have been handed an in-form bowler raring to go.