Karachi Whites 349 for 5 (Fawad 149, Danish 86*) beat Islamabad 347 for 4 (Babar 105, Shahid Yousuf 96*, Shan Masood 51) by five wickets (with three balls remaining)
The Regional Cup final was a high-scoring thriller, with Karachi Whites chasing down a mammoth 348 in the final over to pip Islamabad to the title. Pakistan’s forgotten man Fawad Alam was the hero again, masterminding the chase with a superb 149. By the time he was dismissed, his side needed just seven runs to win, and they had one hand on the title.
Islamabad looked to have established a position of dominance in the first innings, Shan Masood setting the tempo with a brisk half century. Babar Azam rose to the occasion with his second century in three days, a 95-ball 105 the backbone of the Islamabad innings. Shahid Yousuf contributed an explosive innings, smashing an unbeaten 96 in 74 balls, and was unlucky to miss out on three figures himself.
The match threatened to become a no-contest when Karachi lost their openers within the first eight overs with the score on 38. Akbar-ur-Rehman stabilised the innings the company of Fawad, but his 41 off 67 balls took time that such a huge chase simply couldn’t afford. It was a stunning fifth-wicket partnership of 192 between Fawad and Danish Aziz, who blasted six sixes on his way to an unbeaten 65-ball 86, that carried the side to the brink, against all odds.
By the time Fawad fell, his side needed seven off the last over, and Anwar Ali ensured there would be no last-minute drama, smashing a six off his first ball to seal the title for Karachi.