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LAHORE: Skipper of Pakistan Shaheens Mohammad Haris has expressed his jubilation over inflicting defeat to India-A in the final by a comprehensive 128-run margin in Colombo and vowed to show better performances in future.

In the final, Shaheens were unstoppable from the first ball of the match, and a comprehensive all-round performance led by Tayyab’s century guided Shaheens to lift the trophy. In the batting charts, three Shaheens batters finished among the top 10 batters of the tournament. Tayyab, who occupied fifth spot, scored 190 runs from four outings, at a strike rate of 110.46.

He struck 22 fours and four sixes in the tournament and also scored one century and one half-century. Tayyab complemented his batting with good fielding, taking four catches. Omair Bin Yousuf amassed 183 runs from five matches at an average of 36.60, which included one half-century. He also took four catches over the course of the tournament.

Pakistan Shaheens’ opening pair of Sahibzada Farhan (4 matches, 175 runs, 2x50s, 43.75 avg) and Saim Ayub (5 matches, 161 runs, 2x50s, 32.20 avg) were the other notable contributors with the bat.

In the bowling unit, left-arm wrist spinner Sufiyan Muqeem was the most successful bowler for Shaheens, grabbing eight wickets from three matches at an economy rate of 5.06. He registered three-fers on two occasions including the important spell of three for 66 in the final. Right-arm fast Arshad bagged seven wickets from three outings in the tournament, which included a five-fer against Sri Lanka A in the first semi-final.

Right-arm off-spinner Qasim Akram etched the best match figures in the tournament with 10-1-26-6 in Shaheens’ 184-run win over UAE A. Shahnawaz Dahani was other Shaheens bowler to take a five-wicket haul. He achieved that feat in Shaheens’ opening match of the tournament against Nepal.

After successfully defending the title, wicketkeeper-batter and captain Mohammad Haris talked exclusively to PCB Digital. Haris, behind the stumps, had six dismissals to his name, which included four catches and two stumpings.

Mohammad Haris said: “We are all very excited after beating India A in the final. The good thing is the senior team is here and they too celebrating the win, providing us with extra motivation. When we lost against India A in the group stage, it gave us a good wake-up call, and there is always a great learning from the loss. We were confident in our ability to learn from our mistakes and were determined to beat India A in the final.”

He said, “The players responded exceptionally well as we tried different combinations in the tournament. We tried to give ample opportunities to players and the team benefitted significantly. The support staff worked really hard with the players, during the camp in Lahore and here in Sri Lanka. They backed the players, worked tirelessly with them and the results are for everyone to see.”

Chair of the PCB Management Committee, Zaka Ashraf, expressed his elation at the remarkable performance put forth by Pakistan Shaheens, praising their unwavering spirit and outstanding skills throughout the tournament. He commended the players for their dedication and hard work, which culminated in a well-deserved victory.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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