Peshawar clinched their third one-day cup title after defeating Karachi Whites at Pindi Cricket Stadium by five wickets in the AH Group Presents TransGroup Pakistan Cup 2023-24 final. Nabi Gul hit the winning runs for Peshawar as the Sahibzada Farhan-led side pocketed a cash prize of PKR 5 million.
Peshawar’s last national one-day title win came in the 2016-17 season when they beat the same opponent at National Bank Stadium, Karachi in the final by 124 runs.
Karachi Whites began their innings patiently after being put in to bat first by Peshawar on a surface that seemed to assist the fast bowlers. The first blow arrived in the eighth over with Habibullah dismissed by left-arm pacer Mohammad Imran.
Saim Ayub, who starred with 95 in the semi-final triumph for Karachi Whites, was the second batter to exit the stage when Imran struck again to have him caught by Azam Khan. Wickets continued to tumble as none of the top five batters could register a score above 13.
Karachi Whites skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed was dismissed courtesy a sharp catch by Iftikhar Ahmed for just 22 off 25 balls. Azam Khan was the last man out for 30 off 46 deliveries as Karachi merely scrambled to 103 all out in 31.2 overs. Imran was the chief destroyer with four wickets for 28 runs while Mohammad Abbas Afridi got three wickets.
Peshawar did not face serious hiccups in their chase of the paltry target getting home with five wickets and 27.4 overs to spare. Mohammad Haris top-scored with a quick-fire 46 from 33 balls featuring seven fours and a six.
Sahibzada was out in bizarre fashion as he inadvertently whipped the bails off with his bat resulting in a hit wicket off Ghulam Mudassar. The other four wickets to fall were taken by Noman Ali (two wickets), Danish Aziz and Saim (one each).
Multan’s Haseebullah took home the player of the tournament and best wicket-keeper awards for his tally of 326 runs including two centuries and 10 dismissals. Saim topped the batting chatting charts with 397 runs in eight innings and was duly named best batter of the tournament. Multan leg-spinner Zahid Mehmood and Peshawar fast bowler Abbas Afridi were the joint winners for the best bowler award with 15 wickets each. For his impactful figures of 4-28, Mohammad Imran was declared player of the final.
Scores in brief:
Peshawar beat Karachi Whites by five wickets
Karachi Whites 103 all out, 31.2 overs (Azam Khan 30, Sarfaraz Ahmed 22; Mohammad Imran 4-28, Mohammad Abbas Afridi 3-20)
Peshawar 108-5, 17.2 overs (Mohammad Haris 46; Noman Ali 2-19)
Player of the tournament – Haseebullah (Multan Region) (326 runs and 10 dismissals)
Best Batter – Saim Ayub (Karachi Region Whites) (397 runs)
Best Bowler – Zahid Mehmood (Multan Region) and Mohammad Abbas Afridi (Peshawar Region) (15 wickets each)
Best Wicket-keeper – Haseebullah (Multan Region) (326 runs and 10 dismissals)
Player of the final – Mohammad Imran (Peshawar Region)