Pak­istan star to power KL

New Straits Times - - Sport -

KUALA Lumpur will be strength­ened by the in­clu­sion of Pak­istan Test player Sami As­lam in the Premier Cup semi-fi­nal against Pe­nang to­day in their bid to com­plete a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive dou­ble.

As­lam, who played for Pak­istan against Aus­tralia last De­cem­ber to reach 11 Test caps, ar­rived in the coun­try yes­ter­day and will likely open the batting at the Kin­rara Oval to­day.

The 21-year-old was un­able to play in the Premier League, which KL won for a sec­ond straight year af­ter win­ning all eight matches, as his do­mes­tic first-class team, Fed­eral Ar­eas, reached the Pak­istan Cup fi­nal last Satur­day.

As­lam, a for­mer Pak­istan Un­der-19 cap­tain and who also has four one-day in­ter­na­tional caps, scored 109 runs to lead Fed­eral Ar­eas to a one-wicket win over Baluchis­tan.

“He is an open­ing bats­man and an or­tho­dox bowler and we are glad to have As­lam with us for the semi-fi­nals, and if we qual­ify, for the fi­nal,” said KL cap­tain Ahmad Faiz Mo­hammed Noor of As­lam, who was reg­is­tered by KL on April 12.

“Even though he could not train with us since he only just ar­rived, I think he should be able to do well hav­ing just fin­ished play­ing in his coun­try’s do­mes­tic tour­na­ment.”

On Wed­nes­day, KL com­pleted their fixtures with a 100 per cent record af­ter de­feat­ing bot­tom­side Armed Forces by eight wick­ets at the Kin­rara Oval.

Vi­ran­deep Singh scored an un­beaten 100 runs, only the third cen­tury reg­is­tered in the tour­na­ment, in an un­bro­ken third­wicket part­ner­ship with K. Si­vanan­tha (63), to ex­tend KL’s win­ning run to 16 matches since last year.

The com­ple­tion of the Premier League fixtures con­firmed that KL will meet fourth-placed Pe­nang at Kin­rara to­day while Se­lan­gor and Univer­siti Ke­bangsaan Malaysia face off in to­mor­row’s other semi-fi­nal. The fi­nal is on Sun­day.

Faiz will also re­turn af­ter miss­ing the Forces win though there is a doubt over bowler Na­van­tha Rat­nayake, who claimed two wick­ets for 24 runs against Forces de­spite be­ing hob­bled by an an­kle in­jury.

Rat­nayake played through the pain bar­rier to bowl five overs in his last two matches and his fit­ness will be as­sessed be­fore the semi-fi­nal. Devin­der Singh

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