KARACHI/LAHORE: A brilliant opening stand between Sharjeel Khan and Khurram Manzoor led Sindh to a comfortable win over Central Punjab in the sixth match of the National T20 Cup First XI tournament at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Sindh reached the target of 155 for the loss of just three wickets in the 19th over. Sharjeel scored 77 off 56 balls, hitting nine fours and two sixes. Khurram scored 50 off 46 balls, including six fours. They scored 134 runs together off 101 balls.
Ehsan Adil got two wickets for 29.
Central Punjab had managed 154 for seven on the back of Abid Ali's 58 which he scored off 41 balls and included six fours and a six. Qasim Akram and Usman Qadir were the other notable scorers, with 20 runs each.
Sohail Khan got three wickets for 31 and Mohammad Asghar two for 23.
Earlier in the day, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa defeated Balochistan by eight wickets.
Batting first, Balochistan managed 152 for nine in their 20 overs as Shaheen Shah Afridi got five for 20. Imran Butt scored 37 off 32 balls, hitting two fours and a six. Captain Haris Sohail scored 29 off 30 balls with one four and two sixes. Opener Awais Zia was the other notable scorer with 24 off 16 balls. He struck five boundaries.
Usman Shinwari got two wickets but conceded 48 runs in his four overs.
The target was achieved by KP in 17 overs with captain Muhammad Rizwan scoring 57 not out off 42 balls, including five fours and two sixes. Mohammad Hafeez scored 45 off 33 balls. His innings included five fours and three sixes. Iftikhar Ahmed scored 29 not out off 16 balls, hitting three fours and a six.
On Thursday night, inspired bowling spells by Haris Rauf and captain Shadab Khan guided defending champions Northern to a comfortable 27-run win against Southern Punjab in the fourth match.
Southern Punjab, who were set a 204-run target, lost their way after being in a formidable position of 129 for two at the start of the 13th over. Shadab led from the front by dismissing Sohaib Maqsood (18 off 12 balls) and Zeeshan Ashraf (73 off 38 balls, eight fours and four sixes) in the same over to bring his side back in the hunt.
Northern never allowed Southern Punjab to claw back in the game as the fiery Haris dismissed danger man Khushdil Shah (8) and Aamer Yamin (1) in the 16th over of the innings to leave Southern Punjab reeling at 149 for seven.
Haris who had dismissed Shan Masood for a duck in the opening over of the Southern Punjab innings got rid of Bilawal Bhatti (10) in his final over to return end the game with impressive figures of four for 24 in four overs.
Shadab, who was later named man-of-the-match for his all-round contribution (28 runs and three wickets), stifled the Southern Punjab batsmen in his four-over spell that earned him figures of three for 30.
For Southern Punjab left-handed opener Zeeshan played some scintillating shots in his impressive half-century but his dismissal meant it was all over for them.
Earlier, batting first after winning the toss, Northern amassed an imposing 203-run total for the loss of five wickets on the back of a 50 off 39 balls by opener Ali Imran and solid contributions from most of the frontline batsmen.
Ali hit three sixes and as many fours in his innings before his dismissal to leg-spinner Zahid Mehmood who took three wickets for 35 runs in his four over quota.
Haider Ali continued his fine form scoring a brisk 28 off 15 balls (three fours, two sixes). Shadab scored 28 off 14 balls, he hit three sixes in his innings.
An unbroken 56-run partnership between Asif Ali (29 off 21 balls, four fours) and Mohammad Nawaz (31 off 15 balls, two fours, two sixes) helped Northern get past the 200-run mark.
Mohammad Irfan took two wickets for 35 runs.
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