Sep 30, 2023 Sports
Kaieteur Sports – KARACHI: Pakistan – West Indies, Australia and United States of America (USA) stormed into the semifinals of the inaugural MCW Over40 Cricket Global Cup 2023 whose league matches concluded here on Thursday.
In the seventh and final round of league matches, Pakistan hammered United Arab Emirates (UAE) by eight wickets at National Bank Stadium, West Indies edged out Hong Kong by five wickets at Karachi while USA whipped Canada by eight wickets at NBP Sports Complex.
Pakistan, by winning all seven matches, topped the table with 14 points while USA and West Indies finished second and third with 11 and 10 points respectively with 5 victories each.
The home side dominated the proceedings against UAE from the outset. After just a few overs of pace bowling, the spinners were pressed into service, and they did a fantastic job. The trio of Abdul Qadir (4-24), Kashif Siddique (2-16) and Haris Ayaz (2-24) bamboozled the UAE batsmen.
UAE, batting first after winning the toss, struggled to come to terms with the home spinners although the pitch looked good for scoring freely. Failing to build any partnership of note, they succumbed to 80 all out in 29.1 overs with Vijay Mehra (15 off 38 balls) being their top scorer.
As expected, the target of 81 in 45 overs proved a modest one for Pakistan who got off to a flying start through the opening pair of Junaid Khalil Nainitalwala and Abdul Razzaq. They raised 50 of the innings in only the fifth over. Skipper Razzaq was dismissed after making 21 off 15 balls but Junaid returned unbeaten on 36 off 34 as the winning boundary came in the 11th over. Off-spinner Narayan Krishnan claimed both the wickets to fall in Pakistan’s innings.
West Indies came up with another powerful display to tame Hong Kong after a hard-fought battle. Opener Devindra Maharaj, declared Man of the Match, scored a brilliant century as they reached a challenging target of 252 in the final over with only three deliveries remaining. He was batting on 100 off 107 balls (8 @ 4s & 1 @6) when he retired with the score on 194 in the 35th over. Alongside Hemraj Garbarran, they featured in the highest opening partnership of the season 60 in 81 balls. He then shared 79-run second wicket stand with Javed Bacchus (45 off 43 balls).There was a slight wobble by the Windies after when they lost their skipper, Mahendra Nagamootoo at 218 for 4 but a fine 36 off 35 balls by Sanjiv Gooljar and 21* from Dary Balgobin ensured that they got home safely. Earlier, West Indies had rested their captain, Narsingh Deonarine; Vice Captain, Shazan Babwah and number 3 batter, Devon Clements who were all nursing some niggles.
Hong Kong, choosing to bat first, started disastrously as both their openers perished cheaply. They, however, were rescued by the pair of Rahul Sambhus (63 off 73 balls) and Ankur Vasishta (60 off 69 balls) who added 108 for third wicket. Skipper Farooq Saeed (38 off 37 balls) and Iftikhar Ahmed (27 off 49 balls) also contributed their bit to take the total past 250.
Skipper Muhammad Farrukh continued to showcase his brilliant all-round skills for USA as they whipped Canada by eight wickets. Electing to bat, Canada was routed for 97 all out in 33 overs after being provided a solid 47-run opening partnership in 10 overs by Ayaz Ali (32 off 71 balls) and Nasir Shaikh (24 off 28 balls). The innings was derailed by the spin trio of Ajay Sharma (4-9), Farrukh (3-21) and Saqib Hameed (2-5).
Farrukh, extending his awesome form, followed his bowling heroics by scoring an unbeaten 52 off 45 balls with help of 10 boundaries to take his team to a comfortable victory in only the 17th over. He was adjudged Man of the Match. Nasir claimed a couple of wickets on successive deliveries which only delayed the inevitable.
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