<
>

HBL rout Sind to take title

Habib Bank Limited (HBL) handed Sind their second successive defeat inside three days to lift the Pentangular Cup 2007 here at the UBL Sports Complex, Karachi with a game to spare.

Sind, who needed another 270 runs to win the match after resuming on their overnight 33 for two, were helpless against the left arm spin of Abdur Rehman who finished with match figures of 11 for 141.

The match was all but finished as Sind lost half their side with only 64 on the board and only brief cameos from tailenders Tahir Khan (20) and Azam Hussain (26) delayed the inevitable and dragged it till after lunch.

Shahid Qambrani top scored with 49 before becoming Shahid Afridi's only victim of the match. Abdur Rehman strangled the weakened Sind lineup as they went on the attack against him.

A massive celebration on the field and in the dressing room was witnessed as Ifran Fazil caught Uzair-ul-Haq off Abdur Rehman at mid-on to hand HBL the title with the domestic season coming to a close.

Losing captain Faisal Iqbal was clearly frustrated at the lack off effort that his players had shown in the entire series. "With a depleted side, we need senior players to stand up to the challenge and deliver the goods. Clearly, we've had this missing throughout the tournament with the guys not taking interest on the field at all," Faisal told Cricinfo.

The other fourth round match between Punjab and the combined North West Frontier Province-Baluchistan team finished on the third day as well with Punjab crushing their opponents by an innings and 134 runs at the National Stadium Karachi.

Punjab resumed on 387 for four but a late order collapse saw them all out for 485. Misbah-ul-Haq, Punjab's captain, smashed yet another century in the tournament as he shared a 160-run fifth wicket partnership with Naved Latif (85).

Misbah was finally dismissed for 120 with the score on 395 as the late order, apart from an entertaining 47 by Wahab Riaz, failed to contribute significantly to the total.

Needing to score 291 in order to make Punjab bat again, NWFP-Baluchistan, with captain Yasir Hameed unable to bat, succumbed to the opening duo of Imran Ali and Wahab Riaz. Only Umar Javed (39), promoted up the order due to the non-availability of Hameed, provided any resistance at the top.

Imran captured three wickets and Wahab four as Jannisar Khan (28*) and Ahmed Said (32) got themselves some batting practice. Imran Khalid captured the remaining two wickets as NWFP-Baluchistan were all out for 160.