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Lahore Whites tame Sialkot as Abbottabad win thriller

By Our Correspondent
December 09, 2023

KARACHI: Abbottabad ended the Super-Eight phase of the National T20 Cup with 10 points after beating Lahore Blues, whereas Sialkot faced a 30-run defeat at the hands of Lahore Whites in the seventh round here on Friday.

In a thrilling encounter at the NBP Sports Complex, Abbottabad overcame Lahore Blues by three wickets with a ball to spare, with Shadab Khan’s brilliant 10-ball 26-run the decisive innings.

Abbottabad, deciding to field first, restricted Lahore Blues to 171 for six in 20 overs, with skipper Qasim (40) and Junaid Ali (44) being the notable scorers. Early on, the Abbottabad bowlers applied pressure by removing Lahore Blues opener Imran Butt with eight runs on the board.

The image shows one of the glimpses from the National T20 Cup on Dec 8, 2023. — x/TheRealPCB
The image shows one of the glimpses from the National T20 Cup on Dec 8, 2023. — x/TheRealPCB

Opener Umar Siddiq (17) was also shown the door 20 runs later, but Rizwan Hussain, who scored 36, tailored the inning with Qasim, as both forged a partnership of 66 runs. Junaid scored 44 off just 24 balls, while Kashif Bhatti hit a quick-fire 25 off 11 balls with five fours to take Lahore Blues to a respectable total.

For Abbottabad, Aqib Khan bowled a great spell, taking two wickets for just 22 runs, while Shadab, Rasheed, and Kamran Ghulam took one each. In reply, the Abbottabad openers gave their team a 39-run start before Anees Azam got removed for 10. After that, Sajjad Ali and Kamran Ghulam forged an 83-run stand.

Sajjad scored 60 in 41 balls, while Kamran struck 69 off 45 balls with five fours and four sixes. Losing four wickets in the space of 20 runs dented Abbottabad’s run-chase, but it was Shadab who kept his cool and led his team to victory despite seeing two batters getting removed.

For Lahore Blues, Nisar picked two, while Qadir, Akram, Bhatti and Shafique took one apiece. At the UBL Sports Complex, Lahore Whites and Sialkot, the eliminated teams, locked horns and the latter lost by 30 runs.

Lahore Whites, electing to bat first, put up a comprehensive 189-run total for the loss of two wickets in 20 overs, with opener Mohammad Faiq (110) scoring a brilliant not-out hundred in just 60 balls with 16 fours and two sixes.

Other opener, Ahmed Shehzad, scored 27 as both he and Faiq notched a first wicket stand worth 75 runs. Imran Dogar scored 35, while Tayyab Tahir made 14 off 16 balls as his slow inning stopped Lahore Whites from reaching the 200-run mark. Apart from Shakib Ali, who took one wicket for 31 runs in four overs, all the Sialkot bowlers proved expensive.