By Sohail Ali
LAHORE, Jan 08 (APP): The fifth edition of the Pakistan Cup has begun on Friday in Karachi, marking the first instance of the one-day tournament being played in the port city.
Southern Punjab are playing Sindh at the State Bank Stadium in a broadcast fixture.
Balochistan are playing Northern at the UBL Sports Complex. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Central Punjab, who shared the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy title after an epic tie in the final at the National Stadium, are locking horns at the NBP Sports Complex.
Country’s known cricket Statistician Mazher Arshad takes a look at the previous editions. The most successful team :
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federal Areas with two title wins each are the most successful teams in the short history of the tournament.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa won the maiden edition in Faisalabad in 2016 and the most recent edition in Rawalpindi in 2019 whereas Federal Areas won it in Rawalpindi in 2017 and in Faisalabad in 2018.
Federal Areas have won eight out of 13 completed matches in the tournament that takes their win percentage to 61.54 – the highest for any team.
Highest and lowest totals:
Pakistan Cup is one of the highest scoring tournaments in the world as suggested by 37 totals of 300 or more in four years.
The highest total in the tournament is 385-4 by Sindh against Federal Areas in Rawalpindi in 2019.
There have also been three successful chases of 350-plus targets. Federal Areas scaled 376 against Balochistan in Rawalpindi in 2017, Balochistan chased 373 vs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Faisalabad in 2018 and Punjab 366 against Balochistan in 2018.
There is only one sub-100 total in the tournament’s history. That happened in 2018 when Sindh were bowled out for 93 against Federal Areas in Faisalabad.
Most prolific batsman :
Khurram Manzoor, who is in the Sindh’s squad for the 2020-21 edition of the tournament, is the only batsman with 1,000-plus runs in the tournament.
The 34-year-old has scored 1,148 runs at an average of 82.00 and a strike-rate of 122.12. The next best is Iftikhar Ahmed with 906 runs at 64.71.
Khurram is also the highest centurion in Pakistan Cup with six scores of 100 or more.
Iftikhar with four centuries is second best in this list as well.
A total of 44 centuries have been scored in the tournament.
The quickest came from Khurram Manzoor’s bat as the right-handed top-order batsman reached the 100-run mark off 56 balls while playing for Sindh against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Rawalpindi in 2017.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Khushdil Shah scored two 100s off 65 balls (against Sindh) and 66 balls (against Punjab) in the previous edition. They are second and third fastest 100s in Pakistan Cup.
The best strikers:
Asif Ali has scored 453 runs at an average of 64.71 and a strike-rate of 129.42, the highest for any batsman with at least 400 runs in the tournament.
The Northern batsman has also hit two centuries.
The best strikers after Asif are Kamran Akmal (127.41), Khushdil Shah (125.14) and Khurram Manzoor (122.12).
Highest six-hitters :
The batsmen with most sixes in the tournament are Sohaib Maqsood and Iftikhar Ahmed. Both batsmen have smoked 26 maximums each. 30.77 per cent of Sohaib’s all runs (509) in Pakistan Cup have come from sixes.
The next big hitters in the tournament are Akmal brothers – Kamran and Umar (25 sixes each). They are followed by Asif Ali and Khurram (24 sixes).
Most prolific bowler :
Left-arm pacer Zia-ul-Haq is the highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 24 scalps at an average of 24.45.
He is followed by the off-spinner Bilal Asif, who has 23 wickets at 35.17.
Balochistan’s Umar Gul, who hung his boots after the conclusion of his team’s National T20 Cup campaign earlier in the season, is next with 22 victims at 32.04.
Five-wicket hauls :
Seven bowlers have taken a five-wicket haul but only one has six wickets in an innings. Waqas Maqsood, who is in the Central Punjab’s team holds record for the best figures in the tournament. The left-arm pacer, then Federal Areas’ bowler, took six wickets for 63 runs against Balochistan in Faisalabad in 2018.
Six other bowlers to take five-fers in chronological order are Mohammad Amir (five for 36), Aamer Yamin (five for 77), Imran Khan (five for 57), Faheem Ashraf (five for 45), Usman Shinwari (five for 51) and Wahab Riaz (five for 52).
Among the bowlers who have delivered at least 20 overs in the tournament, the left-arm spin of Imad Wasim has been most economical. He has bowled 35 overs for only 157 runs at an economy of 4.48.
Next best are Usman Shinwari (4.56), Wahab Riaz (4.60), Mohammad Amir (4.68) and Khalid Usman (4.92).