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Umar Akmal heroics inspire WAPDA to beat HEC in President’s Trophy

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KARACHI: Umar Akmal’s sensational 84-run knock in the second innings powered the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) to secure a four-wicket win over the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in the second round of the President’s Trophy.

Umar Akmal scored back-to-back fifties in the game to inspire his team to second win of the tournament. Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL) had won their respective games the previous day.

WAPDA continued from their overnight score of 114-4. They lost two more wickets while chasing the 220-run target. Umar Akmal (85, 203b, 10x4s) and Ayaz Tasawar (65, 125b, 10x4s) stretched their fifth-wicket partnership to 98 before the former fell to Aqib Liaqat.

Bismillah Khan (17 not out, 22b, 2x4s, 1×6) hit the winning runs as WAPDA got home with two sessions remaining and four wickets in the bag.

HEC’s Mohammad Junaid picked up three wickets to keep his team in the game but it went in vain. Aqib Liaqat also bagged two wickets while Mohammad Azab’s lone wicket came on day three.

At the end of the second round, WAPDA skipper Iftikhar Ahmed is leading the batting chart with 386 runs while his fellow teammate Asif Afridi sits on top of the leading wicket taker’s list having taken 11 wickets.

The third round of the tournament will kick off on 28 December.

On the third day of the second round of the President’s Trophy Grade-I, Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL) won their games as they beat Ghani Glass and Pakistan Television (PTV) respectively.

KRL sealed a memorable victory against Ghani Glass as they won by just one wicket while chasing 123 in the dying moments of day three. KRL’s pursuit of 123 had faltered at the start when they were reduced to 67-6.

Their last four batters, Kashif Ali (30 not out, 40b, 2x4s, 1×6), Shayan Sheikh (9, 11b, 1×4), Sirajuddin (5, 14b) and Arshadullah (8 not out, 25b, 1×4) faced a combined total of 100 balls and added 52 vital runs to the total.

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Kashif Ali top-scored for KRL while batting at number eight. He spent crucial time in the middle making sure his team ekes out the win while wickets fell on the other end at regular intervals.

Ghulam Mudassar and Niaz Khan’s four wicket-hauls went in vain as the Ghani Glass bowling attack failed to pick up the last wicket.

In another second-round President’s Trophy fixture, SNGPL beat PTV by eight wickets to register their first win of the tournament.

PTV started their second innings from the overnight score of 66-0. Both opening batters, Hasan Nawaz (69, 92b, 9x4s) and Nasir Nawaz (62, 100b, 9x4s, 1×6), struck fluent half-centuries taking the opening partnership to 130.

Leg-spinner, Arif Yaqoob, who registered the figures of 10-177 in his maiden first-class appearance, enforced PTV’s collapse when he got Nasir out.

Soon, he dismissed skipper Uzair Mumtaz and Daniyal Hussain Rajput for ducks. Hasan Mohsin (21, 29b, 4x4s) and Taimur Khan (7, 25b, 1×4) resisted for a while, before the team was dismissed for 189.

Arif bagged six wickets. Mohammad Ali returned with two scalps while Bilawal Bhatti and Mohammad Awais Anwar picked up one wicket each.

SNGPL chased PTV’s target of 85 in 21 overs with eight wickets in hand. Sahibzada Farhan (51, 61b, 4x4s, 4x6s) struck a fine half-century to direct the chase. SNGPL will now face the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on 28 December at SBP Stadium.

READ: Yamin Ahmadzai bags five-fer as Afghanistan thump UAE in first practice match

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