RAWALPINDI: A combined effort from the bowlers led Peshawar to defeat FATA by 44 runs in the first semi-final of the Pakistan Cup at Pindi Cricket Stadium here on Thursday.
Earlier, Peshawar had finished first on the points table at the conclusion of the round-robin stage while FATA had finished fourth.
FATA were bundled out for 201 in 41.1 overs in pursuit of the 246-run target set by Peshawar, who were put into bat first.
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FATA openers Mohammad Farooq and Samiullah Jnr made 13 off 31 and two off nine with the latter losing his wicket earlier in the fifth over. Salman Khan Jnr scored 46 off 60 before getting caught by Adil Amin off the bowling of Iftikhar Ahmed.
Rehan Afridi made a meager 13 off 20 before losing his wicket to Azam Khan in the 17th over while Mohammad Sarwar Afridi emerged as his side’s highest run-getter scoring 56 off 45 balls featuring three boundaries and three sixes. He was the last batter to be dismissed.
The performance of FATA’s lower-order batters remained under par and they failed to withstand Peshawar’s bowling attack.
Peshawar’s Mohammad Abbas Afridi claimed three wickets and conceded 34 runs while off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed, pacer Mohammad Imran and left-arm spinner Azam Khan claimed two wickets each.
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Earlier, Peshawar managed to score 245 at the expense of seven wickets. Opener Sahibzada Farhan played an impressive innings scoring 69 off 76 balls featuring 11 boundaries before being bowled by Khushdil Shah in the 28th over.
Fellow opener Maaz Sadaqat, however, managed to make only 16 off 27 before losing his wicket to Shahid Aziz in the 13th over.
Kamran Ghulam registered a dismal performance making only one off six deliveries before being sent packing by Asif Afridi while Mohammad Haris managed 28 off 28 balls before getting caught by Khushdil Shah off the bowling of Sameen Gul.
Iftikhar Ahmed entered the fray in the 28th over and was sent packing by Khuhdil Shah after scoring only five off 14 balls.
Nabi Gul pulled off 43 off 42 before conceding his wicket to Shahid Aziz in the in the 43rd over. Mohammad Abbas Afridi made only three off four balls before being caught by Usman Khan Shinwari off Shahid.
Adil Amin managed a brisk 56 off 58 balls and continued to play till the end of the innings along with Azam Khan.
Shahid Aziz claimed three scalps at the expense of 55 runs. Khushdil Shah claimed two wickets at the expense of 39 runs while Sameen Gul and Asif Afridi took one wicket each.
Meanwhile, the second semi-final of the ongoing Pakistan Cup between Karachi Region Whites and Multan Region will take place at the same venue on Friday.