Thursday, January 26, 2023

PCB: All set for all-Sindh National U19 Championship final

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This year’s best two teams of teenage cricketers will be in action at the UBL Sports Complex, Karachi from 25 August as Sindh Blues face Sindh Whites in the final of the National U19 Championship 2022-23.

Along with the bragging rights of being the red-ball champions, the final provides both sides a shot at the winning prize money of PKR1.5million. The team that ends up second will bag PKR750,000. The player of the final and the best performers of the tournament (player of the tournament, best batter, best bowler and best fielder) will win PKR25,000 and PKR50,000 each. 

The tournament, one of the several Pakistan Cricket Board’s initiatives to unearth the #PakistanFutureStars, began on 30 July with 12 teams divided into two groups. In a bid to increase the talent pool at the age-group level, each of the six Cricket Associations fielded two teams under the names of Blues and Whites. The Blues formed Group A and the Whites featured in Group B.

With two wins in five matches, Sindh Blues, with most wins in their pool, topped the chart. Sindh Whites, also with two wins and the most in their set, topped Pool B.

The final will be a four-day affair. In case the match ends in a draw, the team with the first innings lead will be declared winners. If the weather or ground conditions do not allow a single ball to be bowled, then both teams will be declared joint winners.

Sindh Blues’ Habibullah has had a terrific run with the bat scoring 294 at an average of 73.50 . The right-handed batter has smashed a century and a half-century and his side will be relying heavily on him to continue his impressive batting display in the last four days of this year’s National U19 Championship.

Sindh Whites’ Haseeb-ur-Rehman has had a phenomenal run with the ball, taking 32 wickets in just three matches. The right-arm off-break has recorded three five-fors and his best bowling figures have been an exceptional nine for 79. The second best wicket-taker of the tournament, Abdul Basit of Northern Whites, has 20 wickets in four matches, which underscores Haseeb’s utility for his side.

Haseeb’s teammate, Ghulam Ashraf will be aiming to end the tournament with the most dismissals to his name. He currently has 11 dismissals (eight catches and three stumpings) in five matches and follows Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Whites’ Zubair Shinwari, who leads the chart with 12 dismissals (10 catches and two stumpings).

Squads:

Sindh U19 Blues: Wahaj Riaz (Captain) (Karachi), Afnan Khan (Karachi), Aftab (Karachi), Ali Hasan (Karachi), Arbaz Khan (Karachi), Habibullah (Karachi), Hameed Karim (Karachi), Haroon Arshad (Karachi), Khuwaja Muhammad Hafeez (Karachi), Maaz Khurram (Karachi), Mirza Saad Baig (Karachi), Muhammad Hanif (Karachi), Naveed Ahmed (Karachi), Rehan Shah (Karachi) and Shahbaz Aziz (Jacobabad)

Reserve players: Abdullah Alam (Karachi), Daud Abbas (Shaheed Benazirabad), Faroz Ali (Larkana), Haseeb-ur-Rahman (Hyderabad) and Ubaid Raza (Khairpur)

Coaching staff: Muhammad Masroor (head coach), Tahir Mehmood (assistant coach)

Sindh U19 Whites: Muhammad Hassan Iqbal (Captain) (Khi Zone-III), Abdul Moeez (Khi Zone-VII), Ali Ishaq (Khi Zone-VI), Daniyal Ahmed (Khi Zone-V), Ghulam Ashraf (Khi Zone-VI), Hamza Qureshi (Khi Zone-VI), Mansoor Ali Khoso (Khairpur), Muhammad Fahad Amin (Khi Zone-III), Muhammad Saad Asif (Khi Zone-VII), Noman Ali (Hyderabad), Rumail Ahmed (Khi Zone-III), Saqlain Nawaz Rajput (Khairpur), Shahwaiz Yasir (Khi Zone-II), Syed Tayyab Hussain (Khi Zone-II) and Syed Yahya Shah (Hyderabad)

Reserves: Abdul Rehman Niazi (Khi Zone-II), Awais Raheem Shah (Khi Zone-VI), Mohammad Umar Khan Sherani (Mirpurkhas), Muhammad Hannan (Sukkur) and Ziaullah (Khi Zone-II)

Coaching staff: Ghulam Ali (head coach), Zafar Iqbal (assistant coach)

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