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October 19, 2019

Northern pip KP to move into semis


October 19, 2019

KARACHI: Northern blasted their way into the semi-finals with their third win when they defeated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by seven wickets on D/L method in the rain-curtailed day-night fixture of the National T20 Cup 2019-2020 at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad on Friday, writes Alam Zeb Safi.

Northern became the second team after Balochistan to confirm their pre-final berth in the six-team event. Northern needed 135 in 16 overs as the game was reduced to 16 overs-a-side due to delayed start because of wet outfield. However, when Northern reached 65 without loss in seven overs rain once again interrupted the game and the target was revised. Now needing 101 in 12 overs, Northern raced to the target with three balls to spare after losing three wickets in the process.

Off the last two overs, Northern required 19 runs. However, Usman Shinwari conceded 13 runs in the penultimate over that dented KP’s winning chance. Northern needed six off the last over from leggie Mohammad Mohsin. Skipper Imad Wasim hit a glorious six towards onside off the third delivery from Mohsin to bring in a well-deserved victory. Imad (10) remained not out.

In the second last over from Shinwari, Asif Ali (15) hit a glorious six to make the chase easier for Northern before being trapped lbw off the next delivery. Asif faced just nine balls.

Earlier, Umar Amin (39) and Ali Imran (34) provided a solid 72-run start off 49 deliveries to Northern. Both were removed by Test seamer Junaid Khan in one over after the target was revised.

Umar hammered six fours from 28 balls. Ali smacked three sixes and one four from 23 deliveries.

Junaid got 2-13 in his two overs. After being asked to bat first, KP had a disastrous start when pacer Musa Khan got rid of their top order batsmen Fakhar Zaman (3), Israrullah (1) and Adil Amin (3) within no time. However, skipper Mohammad Rizwan continued with his solid performances with the willow and hammered a 35-ball 51 to take his side to a respectable total in the end.

The stumper hammered seven fours in his captain’s knock. Rizwan was involved in small but valuable partnerships with a pack of batters including Khushdil Shah (22), Iftikhar Ahmed (31) and Musadiq Ahmed (16) to build the total.

Khushdil hammered three fours and one six from 13 deliveries. Iftikhar smacked three sixes and one four from just 20 balls.

Musadiq, who got run out, clobbered one six from 12 deliveries as KP reached 134-8 in the stipulated overs.

Musa produced impressive figures of 4-38 in four overs. Haris Rauf (1-23 in 3 overs) and leggie Shadab Khan (1-21 in 2 overs) were the other successful bowlers for Northern.

Qaiser Waheed and Khalid Mehmood Senior supervised the match. Shozab Raza was the television umpire and Mohammad Anees, the referee.

Earlier in the day, the match between Southern Punjab and Central Punjab was abandoned due to rain without a single ball being bowled. Both sides shared one point each. After a couple of days rest, on October 21 Sindh will face Southern Punjab in their last league outing.

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