Legendary First-Class cricketer Soli R Mavalwala passed away on Wednesday in Vancouver, Canada, at the age of 90. Soli was a left-arm slow bowler and a left-handed batsman from Karachi who made his First-Class debut in the Sindh vs Mumbai match in the Ranji Trophy of 1947-48. He also played in Pakistan’s first recorded First-Class match for Sindh against West Punjab at Bagh-e-Jinnah in December 1947. West Punjab won by an innings and 68 runs.
The match, which was played in aid of Quaid-e-Azam relief fund for the refugees coming from India to Pakistan, was the first-ever First-Class game in Pakistan. The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy actually began in 1953-54. It was in this historic match that renowned Pakistani players, late Aslam Khokar scored 117 for Punjab, while Fazal Mahmood made 60. Soli bagged figures of 5 for 96.
He played his four First-Class games in a span of six years in between 1947-48 to1953-54. Mavalwala scored a gritty 48 not out against the visiting West Indians in November 1948. The knock helped Sind save the game.
His final First-Class match was the inaugural match of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Soli claimed 3 for 57 in a lost cause. In four First-Class matches he scored 93 runs at an average at 18.60 and claimed eight wickets at 38.25.