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Monday November 29, 2021

Central Punjab storm into Pakistan Cup final

January 30, 2021

KARACHI: Central Punjab blasted their way into the final when they demolished Sindh by 127 runs in the first semi-final of the Pakistan Cup One-day tournament for First XI here at the SBP Ground on Friday.

Chasing 340, Sindh’s batting failed to live up to the billings and the whole team were bundled out for 212 in the 37th over.

Khurram Manzoor top-scored 88, hitting 12 fours in his 73-ball feat.

Left-hander Saad Ali chipped in with 55-ball 54, striking five fours and one six. Fast bowler Mohamamd Ali left a good impression, taking 3-31 in 6.5 overs. Leggie Usman Qadir (2-50) and Ahmed Bashir (2-40) also ably backed Ali.

Earlier, Tayyab Tahir (60), Rizwan Hussain (56) and Zafar Gohar (53) hit solid fifties to enable Central Punjab post 339-9.

Tayyab added 87 runs for the opening stand with Rizwan Hussain. Tayyab hit six fours and one six from 70 balls while Rizwan hammered five sixes and four fours in his quick-fire 29-ball knock.

Zafar, who also played a Test against New Zealand recently, smacked three sixes and three fours in his 39-ball knock.

Hafiz Saad Nasim struck 39 off 28 balls, smashing three sixes and two fours. Raza Ali Dar made 53-ball 37, striking one six and one four.

Mohammad Hasnain, Shanawaz Dhani and left-arm spinner Hassan Khan got two wickets each.

“I have to give credit to openers Tayyab Tahir and Rizwan Hussain who provided us a good start and then the middle-order was able to consolidate with even contributions. The bowling was sharp and accurate, and Zafar Gohar’s presence gave us more variation and experience,” Central Punjab skipper Saad Nasim said.

Sindh’s skipper Asad Shafiq was disappointed by the loss.

“We had a good event, unfortunately we couldn’t carry the form into the semi-final and were beaten by a good Central Punjab side,” Asad said. “We didn’t bowl very well after winning a good toss and although we had previously chased big totals at this ground, today was not our day. However, it has been a good event for us and there were a lot of learnings.”

On Saturday (today), Northern will face Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the other semi-final here at the same venue.