Gwadar Sharks conquer Rawalpindi Raiders in PJL

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By our correspondent

LAHORE: Arafat Minhas and Luc Benkenstein produced all-round performances to help Gwadar Sharks defeat Rawalpindi Raiders by 34 runs in the third match of the Pakistan Junior League in front of the PCB cameras at the Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday.

Arafat, who represented Southern Punjab in the National U19 Cup, scored 40 not out to lift Gwadar Sharks to 150 for five and then followed up with figures of two for 22 to dismiss Rawalpindi Raiders for 116 in 19 overs after they had lost half their side for 49 in nine overs.

Gwadar Sharks’ impressive all-round display must have made Sir Vivian Richards proud as the side is mentored by the legendary West Indies batter who dominated world cricket from 1974-1991. The cricket icon was involved in extensive discussions with his players in the build-up to the match and during breaks, motivating, guiding and inspiring future stars of cricket with his insight and knowledge of the game.

His encouragement undoubtedly helped the Shamyl Hussain-captained side, which recovered from 83 for four in 14 overs to 150 for five after they were put into bat. The last six overs yielded 67 runs as Arafat, Saad Masood and Haseeb Nazim used the long-handle effectively.

Arafat top-scored with a 24-ball 40 not out (3×4, 2×6), Saad chipped in with a 16-ball 22 (3×4) and Haseeb struck two fours in his 4-ball 11 not out.

Essex batter Luc Benkenstein was the other notable Gwadar Sharks batter, scoring a 25-ball 33 with four fours. The 17-year-old later picked up two late wickets with his wrist spin bowling to complete a satisfying debut in Pakistan.

In their 151 runs chase, Hyderabad Hunters, mentored by New Zealand power-hitter Colin Munro, failed to inject any momentum into their innings against the quality Gwadar Sharks bowling to be eventually bowled out for 116 in 19 overs. While the upper half of the batting scored 49 runs in nine overs, the lower half performed better when they contributed 67 runs in 10 overs.

Asser Mughal top-scored with 26, while Wahaj Riaz scored 23.

Along with from Luc Benkenstein (2-4) and Arafat Minhas (2-22), Mohammad Shoaib (3-12) and Momin Qamar (2-24) also shared wickets for Gwadar Sharks.

Scores in brief:

Match 3 – Gwadar Sharks beat Rawalpindi Raiders by 34 runs

Gwadar Sharks 150-5, 20 overs (Arafat Minhas 40 not out, Luc Benkenstein 33, Saad Masood 22, Shamyl Hussain 15, Joseph Eckland 15; Afnan Khan 3-20)

Rawalpindi Raider 116 all out, 19 overs (Asser Mughal 26, Wahaj Riaz 23; Mohamamd Shoaib 3-12, Luc Benkenstein 2-4, Arafat Minhas 2-22, Momin Qamar 2-24)

Player of the match: Arafat Minhas (Gwadar Sharks)

Sunday’s fixtures: Hyderabad Hunters v Gwadar Sharks (1.30pm); Rawalpindi Raiders v Mardan Warriors (6pm)

 

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