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October 17, 2019

Ahsan, Anwar power Sindh to victory


October 17, 2019

KARACHI: Ahsan Ali and Anwar Ali shepherded Sindh to their second win from three games when they overcame Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by eight runs in their outing of the National T20 Cup 2019-2020 at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad on Wednesday.

Ahsan smashed 37-ball 64 to guide Sindh to 176-6. Anwar Ali (3-30) then took key wickets to restrict KP to 168-6.

After being asked to bat, Ahsan Ali and Khurram Manzoor (35) provided a solid 83-run opening stand to Sindh. Khurram, removed by spinner Umer Khan, hammered five fours from 32 balls.

The innings of Ahsan was cardinal as he batted quite aggressively, hammering eight fours and three sixes from just 37 deliveries. Saad Ali’s 18-ball 20, Anwar Ali’s ten-ball unbeaten 18 and Sohail Khan’s eight-ball 13 not out boosted the total.

Umar Khan, Junaid Khan, Usman Shinwari, Imran Khan and Mohammad Mohsin got one wicket each. In response, Mohammad Rizwan led from the front with a 43-ball 70 but failed to take KP home. Rizwan hit two sixes and six fours in his fine knock. Opener Israrullah (28) and Iftikhar Ahmed (20) were the other main contributors.

Anwar Ali was the key tormentor as he took key wickets of Israrullah, Rizwan and Adil Amin (15) at crucial stages to play a vital role in Sindh’s win. Anwar was ably backed by rookie international pacer Mohammad Hasnain who finished with 2-29 in four overs.

Sindh moved to four points. This was KP’s second loss from three games and they trail fifth with just two points. Four sides from the six-team event will qualify for the October 23 semi-finals.

Meanwhile, in the day-nighter, Balochistan defeated Central Punjab by 27 runs, for their second victory from three outings.

Ammad But (3-23), Umar Gul (2-33) and Yasir Shah (2-19) restricted Central Punjab to 137-8, while chasing 165.

Ahmed Shehzad (52) and skipper Babar Azam (30) put on 59 for the opening stand in the power-play. But the rest of the batsmen failed to capitalise on it. Shehzad hammered one six and five fours from 41 balls. Babar smacked one six and three fours from 20 balls. Saad Nasim was the other notable contributor with 15-ball 18 not out.

Earlier, Awais Zia (56) and Bismillah Khan (51) hammered superb fifties to guide Balochistan to 164-8 after they were put into bat by Central Punjab.

After losing Imam-ul-Haq (11) cheaply, the duo put on 61 for the second wicket stand to pave way for posting a huge total.

None of the other batsmen could play a major knock but still Haris Sohail-led side were able to reach a good total.

Awais, having represented Pakistan in T20 international, hit two sixes and four fours in his 43-ball knock.

Bismillah, stumper, hammered three sixes and seven fours in his blistering 23-ball knock.

After Haris Sohail (2) and Imran Farhat (11) failed to deliver Hussain Talat (14) and Yasir Shah (14*) made some runs to boost the total.

Fahim Ashraf was the pick of the bowlers with 3-33.

Shozab Raza and Abdul Muqeet supervised the match, while Iqbal Sheikh was the match referee.

On Thursday (today), Balochistan face Southern Punjab and Northern meet Sindh in important matches.