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Khurram pushes Sindh to semis with solid hundred


January 23, 2021

KARACHI: Khurram Manzoor blasted a superb hundred to put Sindh in the semi-finals when they downed Northern by 13 runs in their eighth round fixture of the Pakistan Cup One-day tournament for First XIs here at the NBP Sports Complex on Friday.

Khurram hammered 122 to enable Sindh to pile up 277-6 in the stipulated 50 overs. Khurram struck 15 fours and one six in his 138-ball knock, his second hundred of the event and 26th of his List A career.

Skipper Anwar Ali smacked 39-ball 56 not out, striking four sixes and three fours. Mohammad Musa was the pick of the bowlers with 2-43 in seven overs. Salman Irshad remained the most expensive bowler as he conceded 75 runs in nine overs.

Then left-arm spinner Danish Aziz captured 4-32 in nine overs as Sindh dismissed Northern for 264. Hammad Azam top-scored with 65-ball 70, smashing four fours and five sixes. Haider Ali chipped in with a 72-ball 55, striking four fours and one six. Zeeshan Malik, earlier, scored 50-ball 44, hammering four sixes and two fours.

Mohammad Umar and Mir Hamza took two wickets each. The sixth win out of eight games took Sindh to 12 points. The loss left Northern at the fifth spot with six points. After winning the first three matches on the trot, this was Northern’s fifth successive defeat.

Meanwhile, Haris Sohail hit 109 not out to keep Balochistan afloat as they downed Central Punjab by six wickets here at the SBP Ground. Haris, who has been dropped from Pakistan’s Test squad, resurrected his form with his fourth List A ton as Balochistan chased the 297-run target with two balls to spare after losing four wickets.

Haris added 110 for the fourth wicket with Akbar-ur-Rehman, who fell for 38. Haris struck five sixes and as many fours in his 99-ball match-winning effort.

Earlier, opener Bismillah Khan set the tone with a gallant 60-ball 73, striking seven fours and one six. Azeem Ghumman made 38. Reza Ali Dar, Mohammad Ali and Usman Qadir got one wicket each.

Earlier, Central Punjab rode on the maiden List A hundred from Qasim Akram (108*) to post 296-7. Qasim hit 14 fours and one six from 81 balls. At one stage, Central Punjab were struggling at 124-5, but Qasim shared 131 for the sixth wicket with Test cricketer Zafar Gohar, who chipped in with 61-ball 48, striking four fours and one six.

Earlier, opener Tayyab Tahir made 49-ball 42, smacking six fours to set the momentum. Left-arm spinner Jalat Khan got 2-40 in his quota of ten overs. The win took Balochistan to six points from eight outings. The loss left Central Punjab at the fourth spot with eight points.

Here at UBL Sports Complex, Southern Punjab recorded their fourth win when they edged past Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by five wickets. Skipper Shan Masood (91) and Khushdil Shah (71) hit solid fifties to enable Southern Punjab to achieve the 245-run target with ten balls to spare after losing five wickets.

Shan, who failed miserably in the recent New Zealand tour, hit nine fours in his 112-ball knock. Khushdil, a Pakistan T20 player, struck six fours and two sixes before getting run out. Mohammad Imran, Asif Afridi, Khalid Usman and Iftikhar Ahmed got one wicket each.

Earlier, KP posted 244 all out in 45.5 overs with skipper Khalid Usman smashing a 50-ball 56, which featured seven fours and two sixes. Mohammad Haris made 58-ball 54 with eight fours and one six. Adil Amin (39) and Musaddiq Ahmed (37) were the other main contributors.

Test discard Mohammad Abbas got 4-40 in 9.5 overs. Leggie Zahid Mahmood captured 2-28 in ten overs. The win took Southern Punjab to eight points at the second position while the loss left KP at the third place, also with eight points.

The ninth round will be played on Sunday (tomorrow). The event is being held on a double league basis, with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals.