Sai Wan pay the price for poor fielding

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 May, 2009, 12:00am

Pakistan Association made the most of two dropped catches to waltz away with the Sunday Cup silverware after defeating JKN Little Sai Wan by 82 runs in the final at Mission Road yesterday.

Leading run-getters Najeeb Amar and skipper Ilyas Gull were both given lives early in their innings and the pair made the most of their second chances as Pakistan Association reached 233 all out in the 49th over.

Left-hander Najeeb was dropped in his 20s and went on to finish as the top-scorer with a hard-hitting 68 which contained five sixes and four boundaries. Gull was dropped when he was on seven and scored 48. Those crucial lapses cost Sai Wan hugely.

'You just can't give players like Najeeb a second chance. Those catches cost us the match, but still I thought we could have chased the total. Unfortunately our batting let us down,' Sai Wan captain Tabarak Dar said.

It did. Pakistan Association had lost four of their top order cheaply with only 70 runs on the board when Najeeb was given a reprieve. He grabbed the opportunity and went on to smack the bowlers all round the park, but with the score at 111, he holed Dar out to Shakeel Haq at long off.

Having hoisted Dar over mid-wicket in his previous over, Najeeb tried to repeat it again, but he failed to recognise the slower delivery and was only able to connect high on his bat.

Gull, who had been dropped at first slip by Suresh Pandey off the bowling of Irfan Ahmed in the previous over, then found the perfect partner in Tanveer Afzaal, and the pair took the score to 198 without any risks before Gull was dismissed to a brilliant overhead catch from Dar standing at extra cover.

But by then Pakistan Association had momentum, and with Tanveer chipping in with a solid 40, reached the reasonable total of 233.

'Our target was to get around 225. We knew we had the bowlers to defend this total,' said Najeeb. And he was proven right as Sai Wan buckled tamely. Leg-spinner Malik Mudassar was the main wrecker, grabbing four for 30 off his allotted 10 overs while Najeeb and Tanveer chipped in with a brace each.

'We couldn't win the League title this year as most of our top players were away on national duty, so it is really pleasing to win the Sunday Cup,' said Pakistan Association skipper Gull.

He led from the front as his 87-run partnership with Tanveer for the sixth wicket was the turning point in the game.