HBL win Quaid-e-Azam Trophy after 33 years

Opener Aftab Alam smashed a spectacular chanceless hundred to power Habib Bank Ltd (HBL) to title winning show in the historic day/night 5-day final of Quaid-e-Azam Cricket Trophy Division-I match when they defeated Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) by five wickets at National Stadium here on Monday.

Little known 26-year-old from Peshawar, Aftab showed great endurance, technique and temperament under pressure in his showpiece 106 to help the bankers to regain the premier first class event after 33 years. HBL last won the title in 1977-78 season.

Fighting Aftab struck 14 sweetly -timed boundaries in his elegant century after facing 230 balls in his marathon 383 minutes stay the crease. It was a great comeback by Aftab after he was dismissed for 14-ball duck in the first outing.   PIA made 228 in the first innings and 319 in the second. HBL made 313 in the first innings and set 235 to the match, they reached the target an hour after lunch break.

This was first time that a first class match spread over five day was a day/night encounter played with an orange ball for the first time in the world.

Diminutive Aftab shared a valuable match winning 88 runs for the fourth wicket stand with Fahad Mashood, who run out suicidal run out after a making a fighting 42 in 89 balls in 153 minutes with three boundaries.

HBL Captain Hasan Raza made a defiant unbeaten 54 after struggling against Anwar Ali and Aizaz Bin Ilyass bouncers. Former Test batsman Hasan Raza banged eight boundaries in his 54 off 54 balls in 98 minutes to steer bankers to historic winning performance.

Director General Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and former Pakistan Captain Javed Miandad presented the winning trophy to HBL Captain Hasan Raza along with cash prize of Rs.1000000. Kamran Sajid got runners-up trophy and Rs.500, 000 winning purse.

Aftab Alam Khan was named player of the match and got Rs.50, 000. Rameez Raja, who scored 801 runs in the trophy got best batsman award.

Left arm spinner Sadaf Hussain of Rawalpindi Region, who bagged 64 wickets was declared best bowler, Ahmed Said (WAPDA) named best wicketkeeper for 50 victims behind the stumps. Adnan Mufti of Rawalpindi Region, who snapped 23 catches was named best fielder. They all received Rs.50, 000 in cash.

Director Domestic Education and former Pakistan Captain Wasim Bari and KCCA Secretary Prof. Sirjan-ul-Islam Bokhari were also present on the occasion.