Mughal Steel Pakistan Cup 2019 is over and KPK have been crowned the champions of the premier domestic One Day Cup. It was a close contest as two evenly matched teams took the field on Friday. Both the teams were unbeaten in the league stage as the league match between the two sides was washed out due to rain.
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) April 12, 2019
If you have missed out the details of the Pakistan Cup Final, here’s all you need to know about the match:
- Venue: Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
- Toss: KPK won and elected to bat first
- Ist Inning Score: KPK scored 307/7
- 2nd Inning Score: Baluchistan scored 298/9
- Result: KPK won by 9 runs
- Man of the match: Sohail Khan (45* from 20 & 3/75)
- Batsman of the tournament: Umar Akmal (342 runs)
- Bowler of the series: Wahab Riaz (10 wickets)
Pakistan Cup presented a brilliant opportunity for domestic cricketers to churn in some brilliant performances and make a case for their World Cup selection. Although most of the team will be more or less the same names, there were a few slots up for grabs, especially in the bowling department.
Here are some of the most shining names at the Pakistan Cup 2019:
These are the top-performing bowlers at the Pakistan Cup 2019:
Wahab Riaz has had a brilliant 2019 with the ball. He won the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2019 with Comilla Victorians where he took 16 wickets in 9 innings. In the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019, he was a part of the runners-up team, Peshawar Zalmi, taking 17 wickets, the third most, in 13 innings. And now, his bowling was yet again fiery as he was the leading wicket-taker in the Pakistan Cup.
Balochistan’s Amad Butt was impressive with the ball as he took 10 wickets at an average of 34.20. The right-arm pacer enjoyed an economy of 6.95 and a best of 3/45.
Sindh’s all-rounder, Hammad Azam picked up 9 wickets at an average of 23.88. The cricketer rose to eminence as an Under-19 cricketer taking over to make the change.
Opener Abid Ali has also made a strong statement yet again – he did first when he scored a hundred on ODI debut against Australia – as he made 132 in the final. He scored 263 runs at an average of 52.60 in 5 innings. It remains to be seen if he is able to pass the fit test and take the flight to England for the series against England ahead of the World Cup.
Umar Akmal emerged as the top run-getter at the Pakistan Cup with 342 runs at an average of 85.50. Umar Akmal, however, failed to deliver at the most crucial time and if he did, his team, Balochistan, would have easily won the Pakistan Cup final. It is his tendency to throw away his wicket at crunch moments, and also his discipline, which kept him out of the squad for more than 2 years.
One of the most impressive batsmen in the Pakistan Cup was left-hander Khushdil Shah from KPK, who accumulated 316 runs at an average of 105.33. He scored two centuries with a best of 154*. Not just this, he was brilliant when it came to hitting; his strike rate of 131.12 is reflective of his six-hitting prowess. His 15 sixes were the second most, the highest being 17 by Umar Akmal.
Another player who scored two centuries in the tournament is Iftikhar Ahmed, who amassed a total of 301 runs at a staggering average of 100.33. He played only 4 matches as Punjab was knocked out in the league stage.
Fans in Good Attendance
Usually, the domestic tournaments do not attract much crowd and there’s no denying this fact. However, fans from Rawalpindi and Islamabad showed their hunger for competitive cricket as they turned up in good numbers, especially at the Pakistan Cup final.
Rawalpindi stadium is also among the probable choices for hosting some matches of PSL 2020 and the final’s crowd definitely expressed their love for cricket.
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) April 12, 2019
Pakistan and Pakistanis love cricket.
— Syed Zarar (@SyZarar) April 12, 2019
There were a number of positives for Pakistan cricket on display at the Pakistan Cup 2019. Some old guns, some new, provided some pure entertainment for the cricket fans who turned out in good numbers, especially in the final.
Umar Akmal showed he is still among the very best in the domestic circuit, Abid Ali pressed hard for his ticket to the World Cup, Khushdil Shah proved that he can solve Pakistan’s finishers woes, Iftikhar Ahmed showed that he can contribute with both bat and ball and the likes of Khurram Manzoor and Awais Zia showed glimpses of brilliance which spoke loudly that their cricket is not over.
Wahab Riaz still has a chance to make it to the World Cup squad, while Amad, who didn’t get a debut despite being a part of Pakistan squad, also presented a strong case. He is a good all-rounder, along with Hammad Azam, who also took 9 wickets. Sohail Khan and Haris Rauf also picked 8 and 7 wickets each.
It remains to be seen if any of these players are picked for the Pakistan squad, the announcement for which will be made on 18th April at 5:30 pm.
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