28 October 2020
PACC 121/5 in 17.3 overs (Babar Hayat 39, Yasim Murtaza 31 Ali Mohammad 4-0-15-3) beat USRC 119 a/o in 20 overs (Muhamad Umar 25, Tanwir Afzal 4-0-14-2) by 5 wickets
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Over at Tin Kwong Road, PACC won the toss and chose to field in their first game of the #PLT20. Tanwir Afzal struck with the new ball right away, picking up Ali Skhawat (caught Hassan Khan Mohammad) and Shahid Wasif (LBW) for 1st ball ducks in the first over! Akbar Khan and Umar Mohammad steadied the ship, picking up some nice boundaries along the way, before Daniyal Bukhari broke through, getting Akbar out stumped in the 10th over. At the halfway stage, USRC were 57/3. Umar Muhammad was then dismissed by Anas Khan, caught at long on, and Bukhari then got the USRC skipper Imran Arif the following over, caught at mid-off, as the USRC innings started to lose its way. The two Awais Mohammads stuck around for a while – Junior hitting Bukhari for a six over midwicket – before Senior was caught brilliantly by Etesham at long-on. USRC now had 80 runs on the board with just 5 overs to go and 4 wickets in hand. Anas Khan and Yasim Murtaza continued to pick up wickets, but Ali Mohammad and Sheryar Khan were able to find the fence on a few occasions -especially of young quick Hassan Khan Mohammad. USRC kept fighting till the end and were bowled on the final ball of the innings for 119. Six bowlers were used by PACC, five of whom picked up 2 wickets each – a genuine team effort in the field by the defending champions.
USRC struck early in run chase, through left arm spinner Shan Raja who got Hamed Khan caught behind. Muhmmad Balal was going steadily before Ali Mohammad, impressive again this week, broke through his defences first ball of the 5th over. PACC 22/2, with Babar Hayat and Yasim Murtaza in the middle. The pair batted sensibly together, knocking the ball around and hitting the odd boundary, and at the halfway stage PACC were sitting comfortably at 69/2. The pair were particularly brutal on young left-arm spinner Ehsan Muhammad, taking him 26 runs in his first 2 overs. Imran Arif brought himself back on for the 11th over and picked up the wicket of Yasim, caught at short cover by Ali Skhawat, and a few overs later Ali Mohammad cleaned up Zeeshan Ali, but Babar Hayat kept going on his merry way. He hit Shan Raja for a 6 to bring up PACC’s 100, and then another one to celebrate, before becoming Ali Mohammad’s 3rd wicket, caught at long-off for 39. But by then the writing was on the board, and Daniyal Bukhari – who bowled well in the 1st innings – hit a pair of boundaries off Imran Arif in the 18th over to seal the game. A comfortable and comprehensive win for the defending champions, and an improved performance by USRC, but not enough to secure them their first Premier League victory.
- Nitesh Hemlani