KARACHI: SNGPL won their fourth Quaid-e-Azam Trophy title on Monday with an epic 103-run victory over defending champions WAPDA in the final. SNGPL needed three wickets on the fifth day of the match to bag the trophy and it took them 50 minutes to send WAPDA packing.
The last three batsmen from WAPDA could survive for only eleven overs on the final morning, as Samiullah Niazi bagged three more wickets to reach match figures of 11 for 129 runs. WAPDA, who got a lead of 12 runs in the first innings, resumed the second innings on the fifth morning with overnight score of 108/7.
Samiullah Niazi removed Khushdil Shah on the third delivery of the first over of the final day to steer SNGPL towards victory. Wahab Riaz, batting at 10th position, showed some resistance and scored a quick 24 off 30 deliveries, before falling to Samiullah Niazi.
Samiullah, in his next over, removed Waqas Maqsood to complete the win for SNGPL. Khalid Usman remained not out with 34 runs against his name on the scorecard.
SNGPL have previously won the titles in 2008, 2014 and 2015. Winning captain Mohammad Hafeez, after receiving a prize money of 2.5 million PKR, told media.tv that it was a great team effort that led his side to the victory in the final.
“We played well in all departments, at one time we were struggling after conceding first innings lead and losing 4 wickets for 21 runs in second innings. Skipper Mohammad Hafeez with the winning trophy.
“But after that Iftikhar Ahmed and Rizwan orchestrated our fight back and reconstructed the innings and then Samiullah Niazi was brilliant with the ball while defending the target,” Hafeez said.
WAPDA captain Salman Butt rued the missed chances but gave credit to SNGPL for playing better cricket than WAPDA.
“We didn’t grab our opportunities well, dropped a couple of catches and couldn’t transform fifties into hundreds and that took us away,” Butt said. “But SNGPL played better than us, they were ahead of us and deserve credit for this,” he said. DNA