KARACHI: Rawalpindi and Lahore Blues registered impressive victories in the fifth round of the Super Eight stage of the National T20 Cup here on Wednesday.
The one-sided match at the UBL Sports Complex saw Rawalpindi outclassing Lahore Whites by five wickets with pacer Zaman Khan picking up three wickets. Opting bat first, the Lahore W got a steady start, but the Pindi bowlers didn’t allow them to score quickly.
Apart from opener Mohammad Akhlaq, who scored 37 off 21 balls, other batters didn’t play with healthy strike rates despite getting the starts. Ahmed Shahzad (27), Tayyab Tahir (22) and skipper Saad Nasim (33) didn’t score enough quick runs as Lahore W only managed 146 for six in 20 overs.
Apart from Zaman, Jahandad Khan picked two and Mubasir Khan one. In reply, the Rawalpindi openers gave their team a solid start as Yasir Khan scored 33 and Zeeshan Malik laced 21. Though did lose wickets at regular intervals, but kept the scoreboard ticking to chase down a target in 19.1 overs with five wickets in hands on a wicket that wasn’t tough to bat.
Haider Ali scored 16, skipper Umar Amin laced 25 and Nawaz 22. But it was a quick-fire cameo from Jahandad Khan who scored 17 runs off just 6 balls to take his team to the finishing line. For Lahore W, Saad Khan picked two, while Rammez, Naveed, Irfan and Amir two one scalp a piece.
In the other closely-fought encounter at the NBP Sports Complex, Lahore Blues defeated FATA by eight runs to win their second match of the Super Eight stage. Opting to bat first, Lahore B scored 153 for the loss of four wickets in 20 overs, with opener Umar Siddiq scoring 40 and skipper Hussain Talat lacing 57 runs off just 36 balls. In the death over, Junaid Ali also played a crucial 23-run cameo of 15 balls.
For FATA, Asif Ali was the stand-out bowler with brilliant figures of one wicket for just giving away eight runs in four overs.
While chasing FATA had a terrible start as they lost three successive wickets with just 25 runs on the board. Samiullah (9), Naeem (15) and Salman scored 11 while Mohammad Sarwar scored zero to leave his team 50-4.
After that, skipper Khushdil Shah started the recovery scoring 54, before being dismissed by Kashif Bhatti. Rehand Afridi also tried his best scoring 35, but his team fell short losing nine wickets in 20 overs. For Lahore B, Nisar Ahmed took three, Hunain and Kashif two.