by: Atika Mehboob TN Sport Pakistan:
Peshawar emerged victorious in the Pakistan Cup 2023-24 final, claiming their third one-day cup title by defeating Karachi Whites at Pindi Cricket Stadium. Nabi Gul played a crucial role in steering Peshawar to a five-wicket win, securing a cash prize of PKR 5 million for the Sahibzada Farhan-led side.
Peshawar’s last national one-day title triumph occurred in the 2016-17 season when they defeated the same opponent at National Bank Stadium, Karachi, in the final by 124 runs.
Karachi Whites, opting to bat first, faced early challenges on a surface favoring fast bowlers. In the eighth over, left-arm pacer Mohammad Imran dismissed Habibullah, setting the tone for Karachi’s struggle. Saim Ayub, the standout performer in the semi-final, departed after scoring 95, caught by Azam Khan off Imran’s bowling. Wickets continued to fall, and Karachi Whites could only manage 103 all out in 31.2 overs, with Imran claiming four wickets for 28 runs and Mohammad Abbas Afridi securing three wickets.
In their chase, Peshawar encountered minimal obstacles, achieving the modest target with five wickets and 27.4 overs to spare. Mohammad Haris led the way with a brisk 46 off 33 balls, featuring seven fours and a six. Sahibzada Farhan’s dismissal, hitting the stumps with his bat resulting in a hit wicket off Ghulam Mudassar, added a moment of drama. Noman Ali, Danish Aziz, and Saim contributed with the ball, each taking a wicket.
Haseebullah from Multan received the player of the tournament and best wicket-keeper awards for his exceptional performance, tallying 326 runs and 10 dismissals. Saim topped the batting charts with 397 runs, earning him the best batter of the tournament title. The best bowler award was shared by Multan leg-spinner Zahid Mehmood and Peshawar fast bowler Abbas Afridi, both claiming 15 wickets. Mohammad Imran, with figures of 4-28, was declared the player of the final.
*Scores in Brief:*
Peshawar beat Karachi Whites by five wickets
Karachi Whites 103 all out, 31.2 overs (Azam Khan 30, Sarfaraz Ahmed 22; Mohammad Imran 4-28, Mohammad Abbas Afridi 3-20).