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LAHORE: Basit Ali produced a sensational unbeaten 102 to guide Bahawalpur Royals to a stunning five-wicket win over Gujranwala Giants in a final over Pakistan Junior League thriller under the Gaddafi Stadium lights on Saturday. Basit made an entry into the record books by becoming the first-ever PJL centurion with his phenomenal innings when he completed his ton in the final over of the match.
Set a 180-run target, Royals completed the chase off the penultimate ball when Tom Aspinwall bowled a no-ball. The final over had begun with Royals needing eight runs.
Royals’ got off to a flying start with Basit leading the way in a 67-run stand with Johan Mahne (14). Basit took the attack to the Giants bowlers as he took full advantage of the powerplay with a series of dazzling shots. The opening partnership was broken courtesy a mix-up which left Mahne short of his crease at the bowling end.
Skipper Obaid Shahid hit four fours in his 20 (11 balls) before falling to Mohammad Shan, the right-armer then dismissed Shawaiz Irfan for a first ball duck. Farhan Yousuf (17) was dismissed by Aqib Asghar.
Basit continued his attacking approach despite the loss of wickets at the other end, he found good support from Nangeyalia Kharote who hit two big sixes off Shan in his 10-ball 16-run cameo before falling in the same over to a fine diving catch by Azan Awais.
Basit remained undeterred at the other end and struck a magnificent straight six off Mohammad Ibtisam when Royals needed 14 off 8 balls.
Earlier, Bahawalpur Royals won the toss and opted to bowl. Left-arm-pacer Sajjad Ali who took three wickets in his side’s previous match made an early breakthrough when he castled Azan Awais (1) with a sharp incoming delivery.
Giants, soon landed in deep trouble as lanky pacer Mohammad Zeeshan sent back Mohammad Waqas (11) and captain Uzair Mumtaz (0) off successive deliveries in the fifth over of the innings, Zeeshan’s first. Uzair who scored a fifty in his side’s defeat to Mardan Warriors in the tournament opener was brilliantly caught by wicketkeeper Shawaiz Irfan.
Ariful Islam was dismissed lbw by Arham Nawab for two which left Giants tottering at 21 for four in 5.2 overs.
Giants were rescued by a magnificent century partnership by the Sri Lankan U19 World Cup batter Shevon Daniel and Hasnain Majid. The two added 122 runs for the fifth-wicket, this is to date the highest partnership in the tournament.
Hasnain struck 50 off 38 balls (four fours, two sixes) before falling to Nathan Edward in the 17th over.
Daniel produced a stunning performance to prove his worth to his side in no uncertain terms, the left-hander hit six fours and five towering sixes in his 81 off 51 balls. Daniel fell in the final over of the innings.
The stellar Daniel-Hasnain partnership took the Giants to an imposing 179 for six total in 20 overs. Zeeshan took two for 25 for Royals.
Scores in brief
Match 4- Bahawalpur Royals beat Gujranwala Giants by five wickets
Gujranwala Giants 179-6, 20 overs (Shevon Daniel 81, Hasnain Majid 50, ; Mohammad Zeeshan 2-25)
Bahawalpur Royals 180-5, 19.4 overs (Basit Ali 102 not out, Obaid Shahid 20; Mohamamd Shan 3-44)
Player of the match: Basit Ali (Bahawalpur Royals)
Sunday’s fixtures: Hyderabad Hunters v Gwadar Sharks (1.30pm); Rawalpindi Raiders v Mardan Warriors (6pm)