Masood, Azam hundreds help Islamabad edge Rawalpindi in run-fest


Islamabad 380 for 2 (Masood 182*, Azam 136) beat Rawalpindi 367 for 9 (Iftikhar 123, Shakeel 70, Masood 50) by 13 runs

In a high-scoring semi-final, Islamabad’s 380 for 2 proved just enough for Rawalpindi, beating them by 13 runs to progress to the semi-final of the Regional One-Day Cup.

Rawalpindi won the toss and bowled first. They might have been made to regret their decision as Islamabad piled on a mammoth total. Shan Masood and Babar Azam both scored centuries – 182 not out and 136 respectively – in a partnership worth 283 runs. All of Rawlpindi’s bowlers went at over six an over and managed just two wickets in the 50 overs. Masood hit 20 fours and a six in his innings.

However, Rawalpindi weren’t demoralised even as the top three fell within the first 15 overs. Just when it seemed Islamabad might canter to a win, Iftikhar Ahmed and Saud Shakeel fought back fiercely, putting on 146 for the fourth wicket. Iftikhar motored along to a century as Shakeel (70) and wicketkeeper Umari Masood (50 not out) gave him able support. However, the target was just a bit too far out of reach, and Islamabad never quite let the game get away from them. In the end, they clinched a 13-run win even as Rawalpindi put on a gallant 367.

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