Pacer claims two wickets as team comfortably chases 118-run target.
Fast-bowler Umar Gul continued his impressive comeback after a major knee operation, taking two wickets for HBL as they defeated Wapda by seven wickets in their Faysal Bank Departmental T20 Group-B match at the LCCA Ground in Lahore on Wednesday.
Batting first, Wapda were restricted to 117 for nine in their 20 overs as Mohammad Ayub made 26 off 29 while Rana Naveedul Hasan chipped in with 23. Gul gave away 21 runs for his wickets in his four overs while Ehsan Adil and Aslam Qureshi took two wickets apiece.
In reply, HBL – who won the Departmental Ramadan T20 Tournament earlier this year – were comfortably home, making 118 for three in 19.3 overs. Hasan Raza remained unbeaten on 40 with five boundaries while Younus Khan struck 33 with the help of two boundaries.
Gul said he was pleased with his return as he needed the confidence after being out of action for more than seven months due to the surgery. He last played an international match on March 15 during a One-Day International against South Africa.
“It’s a good start for me in this Twenty20 tournament as I’m aiming to make an important impact for HBL,” Gul told The Express Tribune.
“Obviously on a personal note, I’m targeting a good show because it’s my comeback after a major operation. Any athlete’s confidence can go down after such surgeries, thus one needs good performances after the return to settle down nerves or any fears at the back of the mind.”
The 29-year-old pacer further stated that he is a bit cautious on his return to competitive cricket, which is why he snubbed the first-class matches of the President’s Trophy and appeared in just 50-over matches, so that he does not put too much strain on his body.
“The last six to seven months had been really difficult for me as it was not easy to work my way slowly to achieve fitness during the rehabilitation period.
“Thus I didn’t want to put too much strain on my muscles by appearing in four-day matches and so I restricted myself to only one-dayers to get the much needed self-belief that I can bowl back in rhythm.”
In another match, Khurram Shehzad’s 72-run knock laced with nine boundaries helped SBP defeat UBL by 28 runs at the same venue.
SBP were all out for 126 in 20 overs as Atif Maqbool captured three wickets.
In reply, UBL bundled out for 98 in 18 overs as the quartet of Tabish Khan, Jallat Khan, Hasan Mahmood and Kashif Siddique claimed two wickets apiece.
In Group A, Shoaib Malik scored an unbeaten fifty to help PIA defeat KRL by seven wickets at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Set a target of 136, PIA made 139 for three with three balls to spare. Malik scored 54 off 28 with two sixes and five boundaries while Sarfaraz Ahmed chipped in with 35.
Earlier, KRL made 135 for seven with Usman Salahuddin top-scoring with a 40-ball 50 studded with six boundaries as Adeel Malik bagged three scalps.
Zeeshan Mushtaq and Haroon Ahmed scored quick half-centuries as PTV shocked NBP with a seven-wicket win.
Chasing a stiff target of 167, PTV made 170 for three in 19.4 overs. Mushtaq smashed 66 off 47 with five sixes and four boundaries while Ahmed ended with 64 not out.
Earlier, NBP had posted 166 for six in their quota as Fawad Alam scored an unbeaten 43.