A blistering ton by Fakhar Zaman and ruthless bowling by Yasir Shah led Younis Khan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) side to claim the inaugural Pakistan Cup title as they beat Punjab by a humiliating margin of 151 runs in the final played at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad on Sunday.
It was all smiles at the end for Younis, who has been under fire during the recent saga which saw him abandon the tournament in and also come back after apologising to the Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shaharyar Khan.
KPK started off the match on the trot as openers Ahmed Shehzad and Fakhar Zaman went onto the put up a mammoth partnership of 118 before the former was stumped by Punjab wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan at 62 (45) in an attempt to thrash Kashif Bhatti’s tossed up slow-left armer through the covers.
Shehzad’s knock, which consisted of seven fours and two sixes damaged Punjab’s winning prospects as KPK aimed for a big target after such start.
Zaman continued till the 33rd over putting up a 111 ball 115.
The southpaw’s innings also included a 52 run partnership with Younis Khan, who also contributed a handy 49 to lead KPK to 311-9.
The KPK bowlers started aggressively as pacer Zia-ul-Haq trapped former Pakistan captain Salman Butt lbw in the second over of the Punjab innings and the misery continued for the Shoaib Malik led side as wickets kept falling in quick successions.
Malik himself, along with seasoned names of Asad Shafiq and Mohammad Rizwan failed to contribute enough to avoid the embarrassing defeat.
Yasir Shah, who recently returned to cricket after a three-month doping ban bagged three wickets bowling at an economy rate of just 3.18 runs per over.
The leg-spinner’s victims were Shoaib Malik, Saif Badar and Ehsan Adil.
Courtesy : Dawn News