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Meet Ali Shafiq, the 20-year-old bowler who defended 97 in a first-class match
QeA Trophy

Meet Ali Shafiq, the 20-year-old bowler who defended 97 in a first-class match

United Bank Limited (UBL) were skittled out for 70 - their lowest score in first-class cricket - chasing a target of 97 runs during their sixth round Quaid-e-Azam Trophy clash versus Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) at KRL Stadium, Rawalpindi.

The carnage was led by a 20-year-old right-arm fast-bowler Ali Shafiq, who hails from Daska. He ended the innings with the bowling figures 6.2-1-14-4 and was supported by Sadaf Hussain, who has been knocking the selectors' doors for a while.

KRL had put 197 on board in the first innings after opting to bat first. Abdul Rehman Muzammil top scored with 74 not out. UBL which had Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood & Ehsan Adil in the playing XI was bowled out for 185 in reply conceding a 12-run lead. KRL in their second innings could manage only 85 runs courtesy 4 wickets from Ehsan Adil and 3 from Mir Hamza. UBL chasing just 97 in the 4th innings was then bowled out for just 70 runs.

In an exclusive chat with Cricingif after the contest, KRL captain Saeed Anwar Jr. was all praise for the young fast bowler. “Ali is a very talented bowler who can swing the ball both ways,” he said. “He is a good learner and is improving his cricket day by day. I expect big things from him in near future.”

Shafiq made his first-class debut for KRL this season and has taken 21 wickets in 4 matches including a 5-fer on debut. He was first spotted by Habib Bank for One-Day Cup for Departments in 2016/17 after impressive performances in the PCB Inter-District U19 Tournaments. He took 26 & 23 wickets respectively in the 2013 and 2014 season of the U19 tournament respectively.

Israr Ahmed Hashmi tweets here