Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pulled off a stunning six-run victory over defending champions Habib Bank Limited (HBL) to clinch the National One-day Cricket Championship at Gaddafi Stadium here Thursday night.

PIA's magnificent come-from-behind triumph was almost a repeat of their semifinal win over National Bank two days. But this was certainly a cliff-hanger which went down to the wire after the bankers were set 237 for victory.

Shoaib Malik, the Man-of-the-Match, captured two wickets in the last over of the game to settle the issue for once and all, including the crucial scalp of Taufiq Umer, who was caught at mid-off by Saqlain for 95.

Kabir Khan followed three balls later when he was, appropriately enough, brilliantly stumped by PIA captain Moin Khan as HBL were all out for 230 in 49.5 overs.

It was, by all accounts, a remarkable turnaround for which Moin deserves accolades for his cool-headed approach to the captaincy throughout HBL's innings.

Once the second-wicket partnership of 123 between Taufiq and Salim Elahi, who contributed 64 off 75 balls with six boundaries, was terminated by Azhar Mahmood, PIA's experienced bowlers struck at regular intervals.

Wasim Akram was easily the pick of the lot. The ace left-arm speedster claimed three for 28 in 10 overs. But Azhar and Abdul Razzaq, who picked five wickets between them for 128 runs in 20 overs, were generally disappointing. Azhar conceded 73 in 10 overs but made vital inroads, including breaking the threatening Taufiq-Salim stand.

Earlier, PIA rallied to make 237 for nine despite being without the injured duo of Ghulam Ali and Yousuf Youhana.

Faisal Iqbal top-scored with 53 off 85 balls with a solitary boundary while Shoaib Malik was one of three batsmen to be run out. The all-rounder hit 52 off 56 balls with two fours and put on 79 for the fifth-wicket with Faisal.

For Moin, it was his second winners' trophy of the season. He skippered Karachi Whites to the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy Grade-I crown earlier last month and for the second time, received the winners cash award of Rs 100,000 on behalf of his victorious squad alongwith the trophy.

HBL skipper Ijaz Ahmed had to be contend with the runners-up trophy and a cash prize of Rs 50,000. Taufiq Umer, who faced 137 balls and struck 10 boundaries tonight, was adjudged the best batsman of the tournament with a tally of 577.

In fact, HBL made a clean sweep of other remaining individual awards, apart from the Man-of-the-Match, Imran Farhat was declared the best fielder, Atiq-uz-Zaman (best wicket-keeper) and Danish Kaneria (best bowler).