Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited 92 (Cheema 5-33) and 70 for 4 (Cheema 4-33) beat Lahore Blues 89 (Dar 37*, Azizullah 5-19) and 70 (Abbas 6-32) by six wickets
It took SNGPL less than two days to beat Lahore Blues in Hyderabad, where 34 wickets fell for a total of 321 runs in conditions where fast bowlers made merry. The quicks picked up each of the 33 wickets that fell to the bowlers, and neither team got past 100 even once. Eventually a target of 68 didn’t quite stretch SNGPL, who got there for the loss of four wickets to pick up nine points, end their Super Eight stage with 21 points, and clinch a place in the tournament final.
Sent in to bat, Lahore Blues stumbled to 89 all out in their first innings, with Azizullah picking up his 11th five-wicket haul in 37 matches. Raza Ali Dar, batting at No. 5, made an unbeaten 37 – it would remain the top score in a match where no one else passed 30.
By the end of the first day, the Blues were batting again, having sent SNGPL packing for 92, with Aizaz Cheema picking up five wickets and the debutant Ali Mustafa three. Only four SNGPL batsmen got into double figures, the wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan top-scoring with 23.
Starting day two on 2 for 0, Lahore Blues collapsed once again. This time their entire innings lasted only 15.1 overs, as Mohammad Abbas tore through their line-up with figures of 6 for 32. SNGPL reached their target in 21.2 overs, with Azhar Ali’s 26, Khurram Shehzad’s 13 and Asad Shafiq’s 10 small but vital contributions in a small chase. Cheema picked up all four wickets, to finish with figures of 9 for 66 in a losing cause.
After the match, Azhar tweeted his amazement at what had happened: “Match Finished in 4 and half session [sic.], what a pitch”.