Bahawalpur Royals 225 for 3 (Irfan 79, Arif 56, Kharote 47*, Qamar 2-34) beat Gwadar Sharks 139 (Hussain 67, Zeeshan 3-27, Kharote 3-32, Sajjad 2-15) by 86 runs
Sharks never got a sniff while bowling as Arif and Afghanistani southpaw Kharote teed off and added 87 runs for the third wicket. Arif scored his first fifty of the PJL and his innings was laced with seven fours and one six, while Kharote hammered two sixes and three fours in his unbeaten knock.
In reply, Sharks did manage a flying start in the powerplay and got to 103 for 4 in the first ten overs, but the innings nosedived after the dismissal of their captain Shamyl Hussain, who notched up 67 off 34 balls. In the end, the team was skittled for 139 in under 16 overs.
Their innings was a story of two halves as Sharks were meeting the asking rate in the first ten overs with Hussain leading the charge. But the moment Zeeshan was introduced into the attack, he removed Hussain and the floodgates were opened. Thereon, the wickets fell at regular intervals as the spinners applied the choke and the equation became tougher with each passing over.
Sharks’ overseas signing Luc Martin Benkenstein has been in good nick in this competition and even guided his side to the doorstep of victory with a well-crafted 71 in Qualifier 1, but he couldn’t get going in the final and holed out to long-on off Sajjad Ali’s bowling. Another lynchpin of Sharks’ batting line-up Mohammad Zulfikal was snared by Kharote early on. Eventually, Sharks lost their last seven wickets for 43 runs.
Sharks will rue the missed opportunities, overthrows and losing their composure when Arif and Shawaiz went berserk with the bat.