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National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) were crowned champions of the 2005-06 Pentangular Cup Cricket Championship, after they defeated Karachi Harbour by an overwhelming margin of an innings and 181 runs on the third day of their four-day match at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Needing only a draw with the first-innings lead to clinch the title ahead of Faisalabad, who had finished their four matches with a tally of 27 points, NBP took their overall total to 33 with wins in all four appearances and claimed their third Pentangular trophy.
After their massive first-innings score of 513 had given them a big advantage of 264, NBP bundled out Karachi Harbour for only 83 in their second outing to romp to an innings triumph.
Mohammad Sami was virtually unplayable as he captured six wickets for 48 runs in 8.5 overs, to give him a match haul of 9 for 121. He and Wasim Khan bowled unchanged as the Karachi team tumbled. Wasim collected 10 wickets in the match for a mere 82 runs, following his first innings 6 for 57 with another splendid performance that fetched him 4 for 25.
NBP, who needed just 16.5 overs in the second innings to get rid of the Karachi Harbour line-up, thus added the Pentangular Cup title to the Patron's Trophy Championship they had won earlier in the season. The high-profile Pentangular Cup tournament has been revived after the lapse of a decade, the last such contest having been played back in 1995-96. Of the 12 competitions given the title of the Pentangular over the years starting from 1973-74, NBP have won twice -- in 1974-75 and then again in 1994-95.
Resuming at their overnight 427 for 8, with a first-innings lead of 178 runs, NBP continued to bat on. Imran Javed, the allrounder, missed what would have been his second century in consecutive innings by just five runs. His 95 came off 156 balls in three-and-a-half hours with 13 fours and two sixes.
Following his 87-run eighth-wicket partnership with Mohammad Sami (43), Imran then joined hands with Wasim Khan (33) as a further 73 runs were added for the ninth wicket. Wasim faced only 54 balls and hit five fours.
Karachi Harbour suffered further as they went into the match with only four regular bowlers. Atif Maqbool, the offspinner, though, bowled his heart out, taking four wickets for 125 in 25.5 overs. For NBP, Sami excelled with the ball, taking 26 wickets at only 15.84 runs apiece while Wasim Khan bagged 24 at an average of 15.62. Naumanullah, their captain, who was named best batsman of the competition, made more runs than anybody else, his 354 including two centuries as he averaged 59 per innings.
The Pentangular Cup tournament marked the end of Pakistan's 2005-06 first-class season. Shaharyar Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, was present at the final awards ceremony at the end of yesterday's match, which ended with a day to spare. He handed over the Pentangular Cup to Naumanullah plus the whopping sum of Rs 600,000. Faisalabad, runners-up of the Pentangular tournament as well as in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Championship Gold League earlier in the season, got Rs 300,000 as their reward.