Islamabad win the Hanif Mohammad Cup 2023-24 after going unbeaten in the Super Four stage and consequently topping the points table. The last round of the Super Four stage played at two venues in Faisalabad, saw Islamabad defeat AJK by eight wickets at Iqbal Stadium and Hyderabad beat Abbottabad by 14 runs at Bohranwali Ground. Consequently, Hyderabad ended second on the table while Abbottabad and AJK finished third and fourth respectively.

Hyderabad’s 19-year-old batter Rizwan Mehmood ended the tournament leading the run charts. In seven matches, he scored 361 runs including two centuries and a half-century. Bahawalpur’s Mohammad Wasim, with 256 runs in four games, was behind Rizwan in second place. Hyderabad’s off-spinner Daniyal Hussain Rajput was the leading wicket-taker of the tournament. He returned with 17 scalps in seven matches, including a five-wicket haul and a four-wicket haul. His teammate, leg-spinner Jawad Ali with 16 wickets, was second on the list. Islamabad’s Rohail Nazir and Abbottabad’s Khayam Khan were the joint-most successful wicketkeepers, registering 13 dismissals each from seven games. Hyderabad’s Akbar Khan had 11 dismissals.

AJK v Islamabad at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad

Four consecutive boundaries by Sarmad Bhatti (36 not out, 25b, 7x4s) helped Islamabad emerge on top against AJK, chasing the target of 100 in 10.5 overs, losing only two wickets in the process. Islamabad captain Rohail Nazir was the top run-getter for the side, hitting an unbeaten 38 from 22, including two boundaries and three maximums. Opener Syed Khizar Shah (18, 15b, 2x4s) also chipped in at the top, setting the tone for the chase.

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Off-spinner Naveed Malik and right-arm pacer Faizan Saleem were the only two wicket-takers for AJK, returning a wicket each.

Earlier, Islamabad bowled out AJK for just 99 in 28.5 overs. Usman Maroof, who hit 24 from 40 including a six, was the highest scorer for the side. Basit Ali’s 17 from 23, including a four, was the second-best score of the innings.

Left-arm spinner Shayan Sheikh and off-spinner Arsal Sheikh accounted for three wickets apiece. Pacer Musa Khan also took two wickets as the AJK batters were restricted to a below-par total.

Abbottabad v Hyderabad at Bohranwali Ground, Faisalabad

Rizwan Mehmood’s century (109, 97b, 9x4s, 5x6s) allowed Hyderabad to score 269-9 in the allotted 45 overs after they were put to bat first by Abbottabad. Opener Sher Afzal, hitting 47 from 46 including nine boundaries, set the foundation for the innings. Rao Sajid Ali (32, 35b, 1×4, 2x6s) also contributed with the bat.

Aqib Khan claimed three wickets and was the pick of the bowlers. Khalid Usman, Ahmed Khan, Abdul Rehman, Mohammad Ibraheem and Mansoor Ali returned with a wicket each.

In reply, Abbottabad were bowled out for 255 in the last over. Chasing 270, Abbottabad opener Anees Azam’s half-century (51, 58b, 6x4s) gave the side a solid platform. However, a frequent loss of wickets in the middle derailed their chase. A valiant unbeaten half-century by Khalid Usman (73 not out, 55b, 7x4s, 2x6s) went in vain as the side fell 15 runs short of the target. Khayam Khan (39, 49b, 3x4s, 1×6) was the other contributor in the lower-order.

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Leg-spinner Jawad Ali bagged a five-wicket haul and was the star performer for Hyderabad in the second innings. Right-arm pacer Asim Jutt claimed two wickets while Majid Asghar and Daniyal Hussain Rajput had a wicket each.

Scores in brief:

Islamabad beat AJK by eight wickets

AJK 99 all out, 28.5 overs (Usman Maroof 24, Basit Ali 17; Shayan Sheikh 3-18, Arsal Sheikh 3-20, Musa Khan 2-25, Hassan Nawaz 1-8)

Islamabad 100-2, 10.5 overs (Rohail Nazir 38 not out, Sarmad Bhatti 36 not out; Faizan Saleem 1-22, Naveed Malik 1-27)

Abbottabad beat Hyderabad by 14 runs

Hyderabad 269-9, 45 overs (Rizwan Mehmood 109, Sher Afzal 47, Rao Sajid Ali 32; Aqib Khan 3-59, Khalid Usman 1-28, Ahmed Khan 1-34, Abdul Rehman 1-35, Mohammad Ibraheem 1-36, Mansoor Ali 1-55)

Abbottabad 255 all out, 44.4 overs (Khalid Usman 73 not out, Anees Azam 51, Khayam Khan 39; Jawad Ali 5-31, Asim Jutt 2-69, Majid Asghar 1-41, Daniyal Hussain Rajput 1-59)