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December 13, 2018

Kamran, Salman, Bilal steer Lahore Whites to win


December 13, 2018

KARACHI: Test cricketers Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt blasted fine fifties while off-spinner Bilal Asif bowled superbly to enable Lahore Whites to record their second successive win when they overwhelmed Islamabad by 22 runs in the National T20 Cup in Multan on Wednesday.

Salman (63) and Kamran (54) guided Lahore Whites to post a tricky total of 167-4 in the allotted 20 overs after opting to bat first on a pitch which offered a bit of turn right from the start.

Bilal then captured 3-24 in four overs to restrict Islamabad to 145.Salman and Kamran, both struggling for international return, provided 86 runs off 63 balls for the opening stand to pave the way for Lahore Whites to pile up an imposing total.

Kamran, who brought up his fifty off 36 deliveries, smashed eight fours and a six from 39 deliveries before being held at point by Adeel Malik while attempting a square-cut off spinner Imad Wasim. Umar Akmal then joined Salman but the former was removed leg-before by Test seamer Junaid Khan after hitting a 16-ball 14.

Salman then shared another vital 41 runs for the third wicket with young Saif Badar who chipped in with a rapid, unbeaten 15-ball 28, having hammered three fours and a six. Salman, who got run out, struck eight fours from 49 deliveries. Wahab Riaz (1) also got run out. Lahore Whites scored 50 off the last 26 deliveries.

Junaid Khan (1-31 in 4 overs) and spinner Adeel Malik (1-24) were the successful bowlers.In response, Abid Ali (30) and Rohail Nazir (23) gave a rapid 52-run start off 36 balls to Islamabad. Test pacer Wahab Riaz provided a much-needed breakthrough to Lahore Whites when he had Abid who was held by Amad Butt. Abid smashed five fours from 20 balls.

Bilal Asif then had stumper Rohail who hit one six and one four from 19 deliveries. Bilal, who played Test series against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE recently, then got rid of Ali Sarfraz (18) and skipper Imad Wasim (10) in quick succession to dent Islamabad’s hopes of recording their first win.

Sarfraz smashed two fours in his 12-ball knock. Faizan Riaz (29*) made a good effort in the end but he did not get support from the other end that impeded their chase. He smashed three fours from 25 balls. Bilal was ably backed by pacer Umaid Asif (2-22) and Amad Butt (2-29). Kamran Akmal was declared the man-of-the-match for his quickfire fifty.

Earlier in the day, holders Lahore Blues notched their first win when they defeated Rawalpindi by five wickets.After being asked to bat first, Rawalpindi posted 117-8 in the allotted 20 overs. Nasir Nawaz (32) and Haider Ali (26) made a solid effort in the top order before Pindi faced a huge collapse in the middle.

In the end, Khalid Usman smacked an 11-ball 17 not out, hitting two sixes. Discarded international Aizaz Cheema (3-31) and skipper Saad Nasim (3-21) bowled intelligently.Lahore Blues rode on a solid batting from Salman Ali Agha (38*) and opener Nauman Anwar (29) to achieve the target with five balls to spare after losing five wickets in the process.

Agha, who hit four fours from 35 balls, added 63 runs for the fifth-wicket association with Reza Ali Dar who hit a 31-ball 26 with two fours.Earlier, Nauman Anwar played an irresponsbile stroke to throw his wicket, hammering five fours in his 31-ball 29.

Spinner Zahid Mansoor got 2-21 in four overs. Salman Ali Agha was adjudged the man-of-the-match for his responsible knock.Today’s fixtures: Karachi Whites v FATA (11am), Multan v Peshawar (3pm).

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