Karachi Gold Bridge stormed into the zonal final of the17th National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2015 after defeating Karachi Rashid Latif Academy by 47 runs in the semifinals here at the TMC Ground.
Karachi Gold Bridge’s opponents in the final will be the winners of the other semifinal to be played between Karachi Omar Associates, the defending champions, and Karachi Gymkhana.
A record number of 109 teams from all over the country had entered the annual tournament, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), and sponsored by IMI Omar (Pvt) Ltd and Arif Habib Group.
Leg-spinner Zafar Ali, with a haul of five wickets, played the lead role in guiding Karachi Gold Bridge to victory over Karachi Rashid Latif Academy in the semifinals. He also scored 19 runs and was the unanimous choice for the Man of the Match award.
Batting first, after winning the toss, Karachi Gold Bridge amassed 225 runs for the loss of nine wickets in the allotted 25 overs. Opener Kamran Hussain whacked one six and 10 fours in his breezy 67 off 38 balls while Ahsan Zaheer, who batted at number seven, smashed as many as half a dozen sixes besides five fours in his whirlwind unbeaten 69 off 34 balls.
The Karachi Rashid Latif Academy’s spin trio of Mahmood Hamid (3-44), Saif Khan (2-39) and Asim Jan (2-51) shared the wickets alongwith medium-pacer Khalid Sami (2-31).
Chasing a target of 226 in 25 overs, Karachi Rashid Latif Academy got off to a flying start through Aziz-ur-Rahman (40 off 26 balls) and Asim Jan (28 off 20 balls) who added 63 for the first wicket.
They, however, lost the momentum against the spin duo of Zafar Ali (5-25) and Fahim Ahmed (3-36) to be bowled out for 177 in 22.3 overs.