Leopards storms in Pentangular Cup final after thrilling win
KARACHI: Federal Areas Leopards stormed into the final of Pentangular Cup One-Day Cricket Tournament after a nail-biting one-run victory over NWFP Panthers at National Stadium on Monday.
Sent to bat first, Federal Areas were bowled for 265 in 49.5 overs. NWFP Panthers in reply were bowled out for 264 in 49.4 overs after needing two runs in as many overs.
Off-break bowler Saeed Ajmal turned out to be the hero for Leopards as he took key wickets of Khurram Shahzad (61) and Junaid Khan (0) at a crucial juncture after fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar produced a remarkable maiden in the 49th over.
Federal Areas pace duo of Shoaib Akhtar and Sohail Tanvir came for under heavy punishment in their opening spell.
Shoaib Akhtar’s Federal Areas will now take on Shoaib Malik’s Punjab Stallions’ in Wednesday final.
Opener Babar Naeem slammed 80-ball 71 with seven boundaries and one six to lead Federal Area Leopards to 265. Medium pacer Nawaz surprisingly emerged as the most successful bowler with three wickets for 44 runs in ten overs.
Pacer Rao Iftikhar and Saeed Ajmal captured three wickets each as NWFP Panthers in reply were bowled out for 264 with two balls to spare. Yasir Hameed banged eight 4s and one six his in 50 off 37 balls, Riffatullah hit seven 4s in his 56 after facing 65 deliveries while Khurram Shahzad made 61 in 80 balls with four boundaries.