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CRICKET LGS - Juniors League News
PJL has the potential to shape the future of our cricket
By Shahid Afridi The Pakistan Junior League was a wonderful experience for me as I finally got an opportunity of working with U19 players, something that I had desired for since retiring from international cricket. I have always believed that the best coaching and skills development takes place at the age-group level as that is when you can groom a player and make the necessary technical adjustments. Despite my tough schedule and commitments with the Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF), I was delighted when the Pakistan Cricket Board offered me the mentorship role for the Mardan Warriors. I didn’t give it a second thought and immediately worked out my schedule to ensure that I remain committed to the two-week tournament window. I joined the team a day before the beginning of the tournament in Lahore, it was a bit of an unknown for me but the moment I met the boys and the team management, I felt at home. We had to play the tournament opener at the beautiful Gaddafi Stadium, a venue that brings back so many memories for me, the GSL was one of my favourite grounds as a cricketer and some of my best Test and ODI performances were registered at the venue. I really liked the opening ceremony that kick-started the tournament, especially the assembly of all six squads at the GSL outfield. That is a moment which the youngsters will cherish for a long time as in your teens you love the attention, and the limelight and the PJL was all about providing a world-class platform to not only our players but also the 24 who had gathered from around the world. We started well with a resounding victory in our opener against the Rawalpindi Raiders. Our pace bowlers Aimal Khan, Abidullah and Mohammad Nabeel who set up the opening win for us, hugely impressed me. The trio possesses the skills, swing and above all the pace to trouble the best batters, they have time on their side and I am sure we will see them deliver some exciting spells in the Pakistan Super League and hopefully for Pakistan in the years ahead. I was equally impressed by our openers George Thomas and Shahzaib Khan, and as I mentioned earlier, what made the PJL so exciting to watch and follow, was the presence for some of the big performing U19 players from around the world. Thomas, Archie Lenham and Luc Martin Benkenstein amongst others are the players that we will hear about a lot. They should have long and fruitful careers ahead of them and I am sure that they will recall the PJL 2022 as an experience that they thoroughly enjoyed and gained invaluable experience from especially in handling the pressure of a competitive T20 tournament. Besides our pacers, Shahzaib, Haseeb Khan and Daud Nazar created sparks of brilliance for the Warriors. Even though we lost out to a place in the final, I was proud of the way our players performed. I really enjoyed working with the players, it was fun to help the batters and bowlers in their pre-match drills. The throw downs, catching practice and pre-match bowling drills were fun and made me realise once again that my passion for cricket was still alive! The PCB deserves credit for coming up with this unique concept. The success of the first season augurs well for the future of the tournament. Within days players like Arafat Minhas, Basit Ali, Shamyl Hussain, Tayyab Arif, Aimal Khan, Uzair Mumtaz, Abidullah, Arham Nawab et al have become known to the Pakistan cricket fraternity and fans. They have progressed leaps and bounds in a matter of days and I am sure the experience plus the monetary gains that they have made will only make them hungrier for more. At the end of it all, the PJL is meant for our future stars, it is a concept that is visionary and will bear fruits in the years to come. I look forward to contributing in the future PJL events and as always will remain available to serve Pakistan cricket in any capacity. I owe it to the PCB, my fans and the game itself that has given me everything I have today!
Bahawalpur Royals win Pakistan Junior League final in style
Sports Bulletin Report LAHORE: Bahawalpur Royals saved their best for the Pakistan Junior League final when they played ruthless cricket to defeat Gwadar Sharks by 85 runs in front of over 10,000 spectators and PCB cameras at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday evening. Bahawalpur’s X-factor* category players Shahwaiz Irfan and Mohammad Tayyab Arif struck electrifying half-centuries to help their side score 66.66 per cent runs in boundaries to post event’s highest total of 225 for three after being put into bat. Gwadar Sharks came out all guns blazing when they raced to 103 for four in the first half of the innings before collapsing to 140 all-out in 15 overs. It was a sweet revenge for Bahawalpur Royals who had suffered a crushing eight-wicket defeat against Gwadar Sharks in the first Qualifier on Tuesday. In the preliminary round match, 12th of the competition, Bahawalpur Royals had defeated Gwadar Sharks by eight wickets. Lahore-born Central Punjab right-handed opener Shahwaiz, named player of the final, was in sublime form when he stroked the fastest half-century of the tournament from 16 balls on way to an eye-catching 79 from 32 balls. His blistering innings included seven fours and six sixes – most by a batter in an innings in this first-of-its kind tournament. In the company of Dera Murad Jamali-born Basit Ali, Shahwaiz switched a 95-run first wicket partnership in 46 balls, including a record 86 for no wicket at the end of the PowerPlay overs. Basit, who finished the tournament as the top-scorer with 379 runs with one century and two half-centuries, scored 35 from 23 balls with four fours and two sixes. He was later adjudged best batter and player of the tournament. After Momin Qamar sent both the openers in the hut in a space of 29 runs, Sialkot-born Mohammad Tayyab Arif joined forces with Afghanistan’s left-handed batter Nangeyalia Kharote to add 87 runs for the third wicket in 53 balls. Tayyab, who notched up his maiden -half century in 29 balls, scored a 34-ball 56 with seven fours and a six, whereas Nangeyalia belted three fours and two sixes in a 30-ball 47 not out. If Bahawalpur batters collected 124 for two in the first half of the innings, they maintained the momentum by adding 101 runs for the loss of one wicket in the second half of the innings to finish with 225 for three. Gwadar Sharks’ run-chase was led by left-handed Shamyl Hussain, who scored a 34-ball 67 with seven fours and four sixes. However, when he became Nangeyalia Kharote’s second scalp at the total of 96 in 9.1 overs, it was the beginning of the end for the side that had topped the points table with four wins in five matches, which became five wins following Tuesday’s win. Nangeyalia completed an all-round performance when he followed up his 47 not out with three for 32. He was well supported by Mohammad Zeeshan (three for 28) and Sajjad Ali (two for 15) For Bahawalpur Royals mentor Imran Tahir, this was the second trophy in as many years after he had won the HBL Pakistan Super League title with Multan Sultans in Abu Dhabi in 2021. Scores in brief (final): Final – Bahawalpur Royals beat Gwadar Sharks by 85 runs Bahawalpur Royal 225-3, 20 overs (Shahwaiz Irfan 79, Mohammad Tayyab Arif 56, Nangeyalia Kharote 47 not out, Basit Ali 35; Momin Qamar 2-34) Gwadar Sharks 140 all out, 15 overs (Shamyl Hussain 67, Danial Ibrahim 19 not out, Arafat Minhas 19; Mohammad Zeeshan 3-28; Nangeyalia Kharote 3-32, Sajjad Ali 2-15) Players’ Awards: Player of the final - Shahwaiz Irfan (Bahawalpur Royals) Player of the tournament – Basit Ali (Bahawalpur Royals) Best batter – Basit Ali (Bahawalpur Royals) Best bowler – Mohammad Zeeshan (Bahawalpur Royals) Best all-rounder – Arafat Minhas (Gwadar Sharks) Best Fielder: Arham Nawab (Bahawalpur Royals)
Clinical Warriors send Raiders packing in one-sided Eliminator
Sports Bulletin Report LAHORE: Mardan Warriors produced a superb all-round performance against Rawalpindi Raiders in the Pakistan Junior League Eliminator on Wednesday night to keep alive their hopes of a place in the tournament final on Friday. Warriors went past a paltry 122-run target in the 19th over for the loss of a mere four wickets. The Shahid Afridi mentored Warriors will now play Bahawalpur Royals in the Qualifier 2 tomorrow, the winner will seal the second final’s berth and take on Gwadar Sharks in the tournament decider on Friday evening. At the start of the chase, Warriors lost George Thomas (7) in the third over of their innings. Opener Shahzaib Khan and Mohammad Farooq eased the nerves of their camp with a series of punishing shots that the Raiders bowlers and fielders had no answers to. The pair added 65 runs for the second-wicket, Farooq (32 off 20 balls, five fours and one six) was caught at deep cover with the score at 77 (9.3 overs). Shahzaib (35 off 32 balls, four fours, one six) looked set for a big one before holing out to deep mid-wicket against Afnan Khan on the last ball of the 12th over, his dismissal left Warriors at 84 for three – needing 38 off the last 48 balls. Haseeb Khan and Ollie Cox (26 not out) added 30 for the fourth-wicket, Haseeb (12) was caught at mid-on with a mere eight runs needed for a win off the last 14 balls. Cox finished the match in company of skipper Abbas Ali with eight balls to spare. Raiders won the toss and opted to bat but the decision backfired as the Warriors made a big breakthrough in the first over when left-arm-spinner Mohammad Irfan dismissed Hassan Eisakhil lbw (1). Aseer Mughal who was promoted to number three contributed a single run to a 32-run stand with Habibullah before falling to Abidullah. Haroon Arshad (13) added 32 for the third-wicket with his captain before holing out to long-on off Archie Lenham. Habibullah played a captain’s knock and held the Raiders’ innings together while playing some delightful shots, the right-hander did the bulk of the scoring for his side. His 65 off 51 balls (six fours, two sixes) ended when he was caught by Irfan off his own bowling with the score at 98 (14 overs). Habibullah’s dismissal triggered a batting collapse as the Warriors tightened the screws. The Raiders lost their last seven wickets (including Habibullah’s) for the addition of a mere 23 runs in 27 balls. They were bowled out for 121 in 19.3 overs. Pacer Abidullah (player of the match) was the pick of the Warriors bowlers in what turned out to be an outstanding team effort by the bowling attack. Abidullah, the right-armer, produced an inspirational spell taking three wickets for 17 in his four overs. Lenham, Mohammad Nabeel and Irfan took two wickets each. Scores in brief Eliminator Mardan Warriors beat Rawalpindi Raiders by six wickets Rawalpindi Raiders 121 all out, 19.3 overs (Habibullah 65; Abidullah 3-17, Archie Lenham 2-20, Mohammad Nabeel 2-25) Mardan Warriors 122-4, 18.4 overs (Shahzaib Khan 35, Mohammad Farooq 32, Olly Cox 26 not out; Hassan Eisakhil 1-13) Player of the match: Abidullah (Mardan Warriors) Thursday’s fixture: Qualifier 2 – Bahawalpur Royals vs Mardan Warriors (6pm)
Brilliant Benkenstein bats Sharks to Pakistan Junior League final
Sports Bulletin Report LAHORE: Luc Martin Benkenstein produced a magnificent 71 off 37 balls (eight fours, three sixes) to spearhead Gwadar Sharks’ march into the Pakistan Junior League final. In the tournament’s Qualifier 1 against Bahawalpur Royals at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Tuesday night, the Sir Vivian Richards mentored Sharks produced a clinical all-round effort to inflict an eight-wicket defeat on their off-colour opponents. Benkenstein’s (player of the match) innings helped Sharks make light work of the 140-run chase after a below-par batting performance by the Royals. The right-hander added 76 runs in the match winning second-wicket partnership with wicketkeeper Mohammad Zulkifal that paved the way for Sharks chase without any major hiccups. Zulkifal maintained his side’s supremacy in their chase by stroking 51 off 44 balls (four fours, one six). The right-hander finished the game in company of Danial Ibrahim (12 not out) with 10 balls to spare. The two added 46 runs in their unbroken third-wicket partnership amid some sloppy fielding and catching by Royals who endured a real off-day. Sharks will now face the winner of Thursday’s Qualifier 2 in the tournament final a day later. Royals were jolted early in their innings by a fiery opening spell by Mohammad Ismail. The right-armer dismissed Tayyab Arif for a first-ball duck with a brilliant away swinging delivery. Basit Ali (20), the linchpin of the Royals’ batting line-up and tournament’s highest run-getter then fell attempting a big shot off Ismail with Haseeb Nazim taking the catch at mid-on. The Sharks tightened their grip with the wicket of wicketkeeper Shawaiz Irfan (5) which left Royals reeling at 49 for three in 6.5 overs. Skipper Obaid Shahid who sat out the previous two games was the fourth batter to fall, the right-hander was run out for 21 (23 balls) in the 11th over. The Royals only reached their eventual total of 139 for seven due to a 54-run fifth-wicket stand between Mohammad Danish (33 off 31 balls, two fours, one six) and Farhan Yousaf (30 off 24 balls, three fours). Ismail was the pick of the Sharks attack, in his penetrative spell four-over spell, Ismail conceded a mere 10 runs and took three crucial wickets. Arafat Minhas, Aftab Ahmed and Mohammad Shoaib took a wicket apiece. In tomorrow’s Eliminator, Rawalpindi Raiders will play Mardan Warriors, the winners will take on Royals in Qualifier 2 for the second spot in Friday’s tournament final. Scores in brief Qualifier Gwadar Sharks beat Bahawalpur Royals by eight wickets Bahawalpur Royals 139-7, 20 overs (Mohammad Danish 33, Farhan Yousaf 30; Mohammad Ismail 3-10, Arafat Minhas 1-19 Gwadar Sharks 141-2, 18.2 overs (Luc Martin Benkenstein 71, Mohammad Zulkifal 51 not out; Nathan Edaward 1-18) Player of the match: Luc Martin Benkenstein (Gwadar Sharks) Wednesday’s fixture: Eliminator – Rawalpindi Raiders vs Mardan Warriors (6pm)
Sharks, Royals, Raiders and Warriors eye PJL trophy
Sports Bulletin Report LAHORE: The first edition of the Pakistan Junior League has reached its business end at the end of an absorbing 15-match group stage. The first of its kind league produced some memorable moments including a century, a five-fer, a hat-trick, and a 32-run over as the future cricket stars from around the world lapped up the opportunity of playing at the headquarters of Pakistan cricket, the iconic Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. Table-toppers Gwadar Sharks will play the first playoff match (Qualifier 1) against second-placed Bahawalpur Royals. Third-placed Rawalpindi Raiders will take on fourth-placed Mardan Warriors in the Eliminator on Wednesday. The loser of the Qualifier 1 and the winner of the Eliminator will clash in the Qualifier 2 on Thursday with the winner joining the Qualifier 1 winner in the tournament final on Friday evening. The winners will pocket PKR10million with the runners-up to be given PKR5million. The individual performers will have the player of the tournament, best batter, best bowler, best wicket-keeper and best fielder awards to grab. The player of the tournament will be rewarded with PKR1million while the other individual award winners will be rewarded with PKR500,000 each. Qualifier 1 – Gwadar Sharks vs Bahawalpur Royals: Sharks, mentored by Sir Vivian Richards, have played some outstanding cricket, winning four out of their five group stage matches. Led by Shamyl Hussain, the players have put in some remarkable performances. Leg-spinner Saad Masood took a five-fer in their thumping 77-run win over Warriors last night. Saad currently leads the tournament bowling charts with 10 wickets. All-rounder Arafat Minhas has been excellent with both bat and ball and is so far the third highest run-getter (159 runs) and joint second highest wicket-taker in the tournament (eight wickets). Opener Luc Martin Benkenstein, who scored a scintillating 74 last night, is fourth on the batters chart with 155 runs. Royals, mentored by Imran Tahir, finished second on the points table with six points – three wins in five matches. Opener Basit Ali has been one of the stellar performers of the PJL. The right-hander is at the top of the batting charts with 233 runs, his tally includes the only century of the event, a brilliant unbeaten 102 against Gujranwala Giants. Amongst the bowlers, Royals’ stand-in captain Arham Nawab has taken eight wickets with his off-spin. The tall 6 feet 8 inches pacer Mohammad Zeeshan has also captured eight wickets. Royals recorded a comfortable eight-wicket win over Sharks in the group stage clash between the two sides, Sharks surely have the depth and quality in their squad to turn the tables in what is expected to be a thrilling encounter between the two sides tomorrow evening at the GSL. Eliminator – Rawalpindi Raiders vs Mardan Warriors:                      The Colin Munro-mentored Rawalpindi Raiders have also witnessed some unforgettable moments in the tournament. Captain Habibullah was the striker and hit four sixes and one four in the most expensive over of the season with Hyderabad Hunters’ Fahad Amin the unfortunate bowler. Habibullah, who has so far hit the most sixes in the tournament (eight), occupies the fifth spot in the batting charts with 153 runs. Left-arm-spinner Afnan Khan registered the competition’s only hat-trick to date as he achieved the feat in his side’s 14-run DLS Method win over the Hunters. Afnan is currently placed number two on the bowling charts with eight wickets. Warriors, mentored by Shahid Afridi, have produced some high-octane moments of their own especially with their pace bowlers Abidullah (six wickets), Aimal Khan (five wickets) and Mohammad Nabeel (five wickets). Openers Shahzaib Khan (137 runs) and George Thomas (125 runs) occupy ninth and tenth spots in the batting charts. In the group stage clash, Raiders prevailed by five wickets. However, the Warriors will come out all guns blazing in the knockout clash on Wednesday, Raiders too will be ready to take on the challenge in what promises to be an engrossing contest. Tuesday’s fixture:  Qualifier 1 – Gwadar Sharks vs Bahawalpur Royals (6pm) Wednesday’s fixture: Eliminator – Rawalpindi Raiders vs Mardan Warriors (6pm)
Giants secure second victory as Hunters finish last in PJL
Sports Bulletin Report LAHORE: Gujranwala Giants remained in the hunt of a Pakistan Junior League playoffs berth as they secured a comfortable six-wicket win over the luckless Hyderabad Hunters in the 13th match of the tournament played at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Saturday afternoon. The victory has given the Giants an outside chance of securing a playoff berth (net run rate -0.280). If Rawalpindi Raiders (net run rate -0.444) lose their match against Bahawalpur Royals (Saturday night) and finish on a net run rate worse than Giants, Giants will progress to the playoffs. On a sunny afternoon on Saturday, the Giants made a remarkable comeback to restrict the Hunters to 129 for eight after a flying start by their opponents. The Giants batters then played some enterprising shots to hunt down the target in 16.2 overs. Left-handed opener Azan Awais was the star performer for their side. The player of the match award winner ensured his side’s dominant win with a series of blazing shots before falling to Mohammad Zubair Jnr for 61 off 43 balls (five fours, two sixes). Captain Uzair Mumtaz scored 31 off 25 balls (two fours, one six) to follow-up on his three-fer with the ball. Zubair took two wickets for the Hunters. Hunters had earlier won the toss and opted to bat. The opening pair of captain Saad Baig and Moiz Rana provided their side a 72-run stand in 11 overs. Saad scored 43 off 44 balls (seven fours) before mistiming a lofted drive off his opposite number Uzair Mumtaz. Moiz was run out for a run-a-ball 25 with the total at 91 in 13.2 overs. The middle and lower-order endured another failure as Hunters failed to capitalize on the foundation provided by the openers. Arbaz Khan (15), Muneeb Wasif (5), Ali Naseer (11), Salman Ahmed (5), Isai Thorne (2) and Aftab Ibrahim (8) returned to dugout in quick succession as the Hunters lost momentum in the middle and death overs to post a below par 129 for eight total. Uzair had an excellent outing with the ball, his off-spin yielded him three wickets for a mere 13 runs in three overs. Pacer Mohammad Ibtisam bowled with pace and penetration to finish with two wickets for 17 runs in his four overs. Matthew Tromp continued his good run with the ball by taking two wickets for 25 – four overs. Scores in brief Match 13 Gujranwala Giants beat Hyderabad Hunters by six wickets Hyderabad Hunters 129-8, 20 overs (Saad Baig 43, Moiz Rana 25; Uzair Mumtaz 3-13, Mohammad Ibtisam 2-17, Matthew Tromp 2-25) Gujranwala Giants 133-4, 16.2 overs (Azan Awais 61, Uzair Mumtaz 31; Mohammad Zubair Jnr 2-26) Player of the match: Azan Awais (Gujranwala Giants) Sunday’s fixture:  Mardan Warriors vs Gwadar Sharks (6:00pm)
Royals enter playoffs with resounding victory over Sharks
Sports Bulletin Report LAHORE: Bahawalpur Royals became the third team to confirm a playoff spot in the Pakistan Junior League by registering a thumping eight-wicket win over Gwadar Sharks under the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore lights in the 12th match of the tournament on Friday. Opener Tayyab Arif and Shawaiz Irfan added 70 runs in a match winning second-wicket partnership to steer their side to a commanding win in pursuit of a modest total. The right-handed Shawaiz was the aggressor in the outstanding partnership and played a series of power-packed shots against the hapless Sharks. Tayyab who was making his maiden appearance for his side scored 41 off 33 balls (seven fours), he was run out with Royals requiring a mere two runs to win. Shawaiz remained undefeated on 51 off 30 balls (seven fours, two sixes), the right-hander finished the match with a sumptuous shot over the covers. The Royals finished the match with as many as 32 balls left unused. The Royals got off to a flier (120-run chase) through their in-form opener Basit Ali and new induction Tayyab Arif. Basit who remains the lone centurion of the tournament looked set for another big one before holing out to long-off. The right-hander hit four fours in his 24 (26 balls), Arafat Minhas dismissed him. Earlier, Royals’ stand-in captain Arham Nawab won the toss and opted to bowl. The Sharks got off to a poor start as a fiery opening burst by pacer Mohammad Zeeshan had them rattled. Zeeshan dismissed Luc Martin Benkenstein (10) and Mohammad Zulkifal (6) in his opening two overs. Sharks captain Shamyl Hussain (1) was dismissed lbw by Sajjad Ali. Sharks continued to lose wickets at regular intervals as Royals produced an outstanding fielding and bowling performance under the GSL lights. Danial Ibrahim, batting at number three, contributed 25, he was sent packing by left-arm-spinner Nangeyalia Kharote. Saad Masood scored a run-a-ball 20. Sharks in-form all-rounder Arafat (12) had a rare failure, he became Nangeyalia’s second victim. Haseeb Nazim top-scored in what was otherwise an unimpressive batting display for the Sharks. Haseeb’s 26 came off 23 balls and included a four and a six. Sharks finished their 20 overs at 119 for eight. Nangeyalia, Zeeshan and Sajjad took two wickets apiece. Sharks, Royals and Warriors have all accumulated six points from their first four matches. The trio will now compete for the top-two playoff spots. The top two teams on the points table will clash in the Qualifier 1 on Tuesday, 18 October. Scores in brief Match 12 Bahawalpur Royals beat Gwadar Sharks by eight wickets Gwadar Sharks 119 for 8, 20 overs (Haseeb Nazim 26, Danial Ibrahim 25; Nangeyalia Kharote 2-20, Mohammad Zeeshan 2-27, Sajjad Ali 2-27) Bahawalpur Royals 122 for 2, 14.4 overs (Shawaiz Irfan 51 not out, Mohammad Tayyab Arif 41, Basit Ali 24; Arafat Minhas 1-15) Player of the match: Mohammad Tayyab Arif (Bahawalpur Royals)
Rawalpindi Raiders edge out Mardan Warriors by five wickets
Sports Bulletin Report LAHORE:-Rawalpindi Raiders edged out Mardan Warriors by five wickets in the sixth match of the Pakistan Junior League at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Sunday night. Scotland’s Charlie Tear and all-rounder Afnan Khan produced brilliant unbeaten cameos to earn a fighting victory for their side after they had stuttered to 93 for five in their 132-run chase. Tear remained unbeaten on 34 off 27 balls (three fours, one six) and Afnan scored 21 not out off eight balls with the help of four fours. The pair added 41 in a mere 16 balls to turn the tables on the Warriors. Needing 13 off the last over bowled by Aimal Khan, Aimal finished the game with three fours with two balls to spare. Raiders, mentored by New Zealand’s T20 great Colin Munro, lost the wicket of their opener Hassan Eisakhil for 16 who scored all his runs courtesy boundary fours in his nine-ball stay. Pacer Abidullah dismissed the right-hander. Captain Habibullah who opened with Eisakhil fell to an outstanding catch behind the stumps by Daud Nazar off pacer Mohammad Nabeel, his dismissal left Raiders at 37 for two in 5.1 overs. Aimal Khan who had produced a brilliant spell in his side’s previous game produced another sensational delivery to clean bowl Kai Smith (2) as Raiders chase stuttered. After a 21-run fourth-wicket partnership Lenham struck a big blow when he dismissed Wahaj Riaz (19). Wahaj’s dismissal left Raiders struggling at 61 for four (11 overs). Aseer Mughal (15) and Charlie Tear added 16 for the fifth-wicket but failed to break the shackles. Aseer’s dismissal on the last ball of the 17th over left Raiders needing 39 off 18. Tear and Afnan Khan brought their side back in the hunt by scoring 16 runs off the 18th over bowled by Abidullah. Earlier, Rawalpindi Raiders won the toss and opted to bowl first. Pacer Amir Hassan made the vital breakthrough for the Raiders when he dismissed Warriors opener George Thomas (15) who had scored a scintillating fifty in his side’s victory in the tournament opener on Thursday. Warriors captain Abbas Ali (3) was dismissed by a super outgoing delivery that he nicked behind to wicketkeeper Kai Smith off Ali Raza. Warriors scored 43 for the loss of two wickets in the powerplay. From 57 for two in eight overs, the Warriors slumped to 75 for seven in 12.5 overs as the Raiders took control of the proceedings. Left-arm-spinner Ziaullah was the destroyer-in-chief as he took three wickets in quick succession. The Warriors were rescued by the pair of Archie Lenham and Mohammad Nabeel who added 47 runs for the eight-wicket in 39 balls. Lenham remained unbeaten on 31 off 37 balls (three fours). Nabeel scored 19 off 12 (one four, one six). Ziaullah finished his four overs with three wickets for 22 runs. Ali, Afnan and Amir took a wicket apiece for Raiders. Scores in brief Match 6 – Rawalpindi Raiders beat Mardan Warriors by five wickets Mardan Warriors 131-8, 20 overs (Archie Lenham 31 not out, Shahzaib Khan 27, Mohammad Nabeel 19; Ziaullah 3-22) Rawalpindi Raiders 134-5, 19.4 overs (Charlie Tear 34 not out, Afnan Khan 21 not out; Mohammad Nabeel 2-23) Player of the match – Charlie Tear & Ziaullah (Rawalpindi Raiders) Monday’s fixture: Bahawalpur Royals vs Mardan Warriors (6pm)
Blazing Basit spearheads Royals second successive victory
SPORTS BULLETIN REPORT LAHORE:-Basit Ali produced a sensational unbeaten 102 to guide Bahawalpur Royals to a stunning five-wicket win over Gujranwala Giants in a final over Pakistan Junior League thriller under the Gaddafi Stadium lights on Saturday. Basit made an entry into the record books by becoming the first-ever PJL centurion with his phenomenal innings. Set a 180-run target, Royals completed the chase off the penultimate ball when Tom Aspinwall bowled a no-ball. Royals’ got off to a flying start with Basit leading the way in a 67-run stand with Johan Mahne (14). Basit took the attack to the Giants bowlers as he took full advantage of the powerplay with a series of dazzling shots. The opening partnership was broken courtesy a mix-up which left Mahne short of his crease at the bowling end. Skipper Obaid Shahid hit four fours in his 20 (11 balls) before falling to Mohammad Shan, the right-armer then dismissed Shawaiz Irfan for a first ball duck. Farhan Yousuf (17) was dismissed by Aqib Asghar Basit continued his attacking approach despite the loss of wickets at the other end, he found good support from Nangeyalia Kharote who hit two big sixes off Shan in his 10-ball 16-run cameo before falling in the same over to a fine diving catch by Azan Awais. Basit remained undeterred at the other end and struck a magnificent straight six off Mohammad Ibtisam when Royals needed 14 off 8 balls. The final over began with Royals needing eight runs. Earlier, Bahawalpur Royals won the toss and opted to bowl. Left-arm-pacer Sajjad Ali who took three wickets in his side’s previous match made an early breakthrough when he castled Azan Awais (1) with a sharp incoming delivery. Giants, soon landed in deep trouble as lanky pacer Mohammad Zeeshan sent back Mohammad Waqas (11) and captain Uzair Mumtaz (0) off successive deliveries in the fifth over of the innings, Zeeshan’s first. Uzair who scored a fifty in his side’s defeat to Mardan Warriors in the tournament opener was brilliantly caught by wicketkeeper Shawaiz Irfan. Ariful Islam was dismissed lbw by Arham Nawab for two which left Giants tottering at 21 for four in 5.2 overs. Giants were rescued by a magnificent century partnership by the Sri Lankan U19 World Cup batter Shevon Daniel and Hasnain Majid. The two added 122 runs for the fifth-wicket, this is to date the highest partnership in the tournament. Hasnain struck 50 off 38 balls (four fours, two sixes) before falling to Nathan Edward in the 17th over. Daniel produced a stunning performance to prove his worth to his side in no uncertain terms, the left-hander hit six fours and five towering sixes in his 81 off 51 balls. Daniel fell in the final over of the innings. The stellar Daniel-Hasnain partnership took the Giants to an imposing 179 for six total in 20 overs. Zeeshan took two for 25 for Royals. Scores in brief: Match 4- Bahawalpur Royals beat Gujranwala Giants by five wickets Gujranwala Giants 179-6, 20 overs (Shevon Daniel 81, Hasnain Majid 50, ; Mohammad Zeeshan 2-25) Bahawalpur Royals 180-5, 19.4 overs (Basit Ali 102 not out, Obaid Shahid 20; Mohamamd Shan 3-44) Player of the match: Basit Ali (Bahawalpur Royals)
Gwadar Sharks make Viv Richards proud in Pakistan Junior League
SPORTS BULLETIN REPORT LAHORE:-Arafat Minhas and Luc Benkenstein produced all-round performances to help Gwadar Sharks defeat Rawalpindi Raiders by 34 runs in the third match of the Pakistan Junior League in front of PCB cameras at the Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday. Arafat, who represented Southern Punjab in the National U19 Cup, scored 40 not out to lift Gwadar Sharks to 150 for five and then followed up with figures of two for 22 to limit Rawalpindi Raiders to 116 all out after they had lost half their side for 49 in nine overs. Gwadar Sharks’ impressive all-round display must have made Sir Vivian Richards proud as the side is mentored by the legendary West Indies batter who dominated world cricket from 1974-1991. The cricket icon was involved in extensive discussions with his players in the build-up to the match and during breaks, motivating, guiding and inspiring future stars of cricket with his insight and knowledge of the game. His encouragement undoubtedly helped the Shamyl Hussain-captained side, which recovered from 83 for four in 14 overs to 150 for five after they were put into bat. The last six overs yielded 67 runs as Arafat, Saad Masood and Haseeb Nazim used the long-handle effectively. Arafat top-scored with a 24-ball 40 not out (3x4, 2x6), Saad chipped in with a 16-ball 22 (3x4) and Haseeb struck two fours in his 4-ball 11. Essex batter Luc Benkenstein was the other notable Gwadar Sharks batter, scoring a 25-ball 33 with four fours. The 17-year-old later picked up two late wickets with his wrist spin bowling to complete a satisfying debut in Pakistan. In their 151 runs chase, Rawalpindi Raiders, mentored by New Zealand power-hitter Colin Munro, failed to inject any momentum into their innings against the quality Gwadar Sharks bowling to be eventually bowled out for 116 in 19 overs. While the upper half of the batting scored 49 runs in nine overs, the lower half performed better when they contributed 67 runs in 10 overs. Asser Mughal top-scored with 26, while Wahaj Riaz scored 23. Along with from Luc Benkenstein (2-4) and Arafat Minhas (2-22), Mohammad Shoaib (3-12) and Momin Qamar (2-24) also shared wickets for Gwadar Sharks. Scores in brief: Match 3 – Gwadar Sharks beat Rawalpindi Raiders by 34 runs Gwadar Sharks 150-5, 20 overs (Arafat Minhas 40 not out, Luc Benkenstein 33, Saad Masood 22, Shamyal Hussain 15, Joseph Eckland 15; Afnan Khan 3-20) Rawalpindi Raider 116 all out, 19 overs (Asser Mughal 26, Wahaj Riaz 23; Mohamamd Shoaib 3-12, Luc Benkenstein 2-4, Arafat Minhas 2-22, Momin Qamar 2-24) Player of the match: Arafat Minhas (Gwadar Sharks)