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October 14, 2019

KP crush Balochistan as National T20 Cup begins


October 14, 2019

KARACHI: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were off to a dazzling start when they overwhelmed Balochistan by seven wickets in their opener in the six-team National T20 Cup 2019-2020 which commenced at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad, on Sunday.

In the game, which began after 3:30pm instead of 1:30pm because of broadcasting issues, KP chased the 141-run target in 17.1 overs for the loss of only three wickets.

Fakhar Zaman and Sahibzada Farhan provided a solid 58-run foundation to their side. Fakhar’s 36-ball 45 played an integral role in setting the pace for what turned out to be a comfortable chase. The left-handed batsman struck six fours and a six.

After the departure of Fakhar and Farhan (14 off 20), KP captain Mohammad Rizwan (31*) and Adil Amin (46) ensured that there were no further hiccups. Adil fell when KP needed just one run to win. He smashed two sixes and six fours in his 21-ball fiery knock. Skipper Rizwan hit one six and one four in his 27-ball unbeaten innings.

Earlier, Balochistan posted 140-9 in the allotted 20 overs with Imam-ul-Haq making half of the team’s runs. The left-handed opening batsman was the lone warrior, after Balochistan were put into bat, as he scored 70 off 51 balls, hitting three fours and four sixes.

The other notable contribution with the bat came from his opening partner Awais Zia, who cracked a 27-ball 31 with three fours and two sixes. Leg-spinner Mohammad Mohsin was the pick of the bowlers for KP, returning with figures of 4-17 in four overs.

In the T20 event for the Second XIs, Balochistan and Sindh won their matches against KP and Central Punjab, respectively here at National Stadium. Balochistan held their nerves in the closing stage to record a Super Over win over KP.

Balochistan piled up 178-2 after being asked to bat. Gulraiz Sadaf scored 58-ball 75 which featured five fours and two sixes. Gulraiz added 129 for the second wicket with captain Akbar-ur-Rehman, who remained unbeaten on 70, which came off 49 balls and had two fours and four sixes. Fast bowler Sameen Gul took 2-29 in four overs.

KP reached the same total for the loss of six wickets. Aitizaz Habib Khan scored 70 off 49 balls with ten fours and two sixes. Mehran Ibrahim made 39, while Nabi Gul belted 38. Taj Wali and leg-spinner Ibtisam Sheikh took two wickets each.

Pacer Khurram Shehzad bowled a superb Super Over as KP were restricted to six runs. Balochistan reached the seven-run target with a ball to spare.

In the other game, Sindh beat Central Punjab by nine wickets. Central Punjab posted 166-3 with Mohammad Akhlaq scoring 47. He hit three fours and three sixes from 31 deliveries. Usman Salahuddin made 41 off 39. Nauman Anwar scored 31 off 18 balls which featured six fours. Hassan Khan, Ghulam Mudassar and Mohammad Sami took one wicket each.

Sindh rode on the heroics of Jaahid Ali (70*) and Ammad Alam (69) to race to the target in 17.3 overs after losing just one wicket.

Jaahid and Ammad scored 103 for the opening stand. Jaahid smashed nine fours and two sixes in his 49-ball effort. Ammad smacked nine fours and two sixes in his breezy 38-ball knock.

Rameez Raja Junior made unbeaten 21 off 18 balls. His unbroken 67-run partnership with Jaahid ensured Sindh’s easy win with 15 balls to spare.