Match 29 – Balochistan’s slow approach gives Sindh an Easy Win
Sindh clashed with Balochistan in the second last game of the group stages of National T20 Cup 2021. Balochistan were already eliminated from the Semi Final race so it was a chance for them to provide opportunities to some new players. Balochistan was led by Sohail Akhtar, while Sindh was led by Shan Masood as Anwar Ali was unavailable due to the sad demise of her mother. Sindh won the toss and decided to bowl first. Balochistan had a very different approach towards the game today. Their opener faced 9 overs but yet managed just 54 runs on the board.
Abdul Wahid Bangalzai was the first batsman to get out after scoring 29(30). Abrar Ahmed took his wicket. Abdullah Shafique lost his wicket in the very next over after scoring 22(26). None of the openers did any good for the team as they consumed way too many balls. Soon after the openers, Muhammad Ibrahim also got out for just 1 and Abrar got his second wicket. Skipper Sohail Akhtar and Hidayatullah spent some time at the crease but once again the runs were not coming at all. Hidayatullah got out for 9(16). In the seventeenth over of the innings, Balochistan were 78/4. There approach was beyond anyone’s understanding. Skipper Sohail Akhtar took the charge and somehow got Balochistan over the 100 run mark. Sohail scored 37(36)* and Balochistan posted just 113 on board. They lost just 5 wickets in the process. Abrar was the best bowler of the innings with 2 wickets.
The chase was never difficult for Sindh, although their start was shaky. Sharjeel Khan got run out without even facing a delivery in an unfortunate manner. Khurram Manzoor soon threw his wicket away as well and Sindh were 19/2. Skipper Shan Masood put a partnership with young Mohammad Taha to lay a foundation for the chase. The stand was of 34 runs before Shan Masood was dismissed by Mohammad Ibrahim for 18(17). Taha continued the hard work and kept Sindh alive in the contest. Hassan Mohsin and Mohammad Afzal from the other end gave away their wickets cheaply to increase problems for Sindh. However Mohammad Taha’s presence kept Sindh’s chances alive.The winning partnership was between Mohammad Taha and Danish Aziz. The partnership was of 39 runs, Taha remained not out on 47(48)* while Danish Aziz scored valuable 19(18)*. Taha was awarded Man of the Match.
Match 30 – Kamran Ghulam, Iftikhar Ahmed Shine to give KP momentum heading into the Semi Finals
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa faced Northern in the final game of the group stage of National T20 Cup 2021. Although both teams had qualified earlier but who goes with the momentum on their side in the Semi Finals is key. Northern won the toss and elected to bowl first. KP later on made them regret their decision. KP didn’t have a convincing start as Israrullah got out to Athar Mahmood in the 2nd over of the game. A couple of overs later, Sahibzada Farhan also got out after scoring 18. Kamran Ghulam and Muhammad Haris built a partnership to stabilise the situation for KP.The stand between Haris and Kamran was of 48 runs before Haris got out to Aqib Liaquat. Haris managed 13(11). In the same over, Nabi Gul also got stumped and KP were once again in trouble. With 74/4 on board, skipper Iftikhar Ahmed walked in to support Kamran Ghulam. Kamran and Iftikhar both were in red hot form and they delivered it in this game. Kamran Ghulam smashed a hundred today and became the 3rd centurion of the event. Iftikhar Ahmed completed yet another fifty in this tournament. The huge stand between Kamran and Iftikhar was of 133 runs. Kamran Ghulam remained unbeaten on 110* while skipper Iftikhar Ahmed remained unbeaten on 54*.
Northern had a disastrous start to the chase as inform Nasir Nawaz got out after facing just 2 balls. Imran Khan Sr took his wicket. Ali Imran and Zeeshan Malik took Northern to 31/1 cautiously but Ali Imran was run out for 19. In the very next over, Zeeshan Malik got out to Arshad Iqbal for just 11. Umar Amin and Rohail Nazir had a partnership of 29 runs and for a moment, Northern felt that they are in the chase before skipper Umar Amin was caught by 23(21). He was dismissed by KP’s skipper, Iftikhar Ahmed. Mubasir Khan was the next one to be dismissed after making just 2. Rohail Nazir kept holding one end but he never got the support from the other end. Aamer Jamal made just 3 before he was dismissed by Asif Afridi and Northern were 96/6 at this point with a required rate of over 15. Rohail Nazir was also dismissed soon, by Khalid Usman. Rohail was Northern’s top scorer with 34(23). Mohammad Imran then dismissed Nauman Ali to further daunt Northern. Soon the tail also fell and Northern suffered the biggest defeat of the season in terms of runs remaining. KP won the game by a huge margin of 92 runs.
Northern will Face Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the first semi final tomorrow while Sindh will face Central Punjab in the second semi final tomorrow.