Match 11 – Babar Azam’s century goes in vain as Haider Powers Northern to a big win
The crowd at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium witnessed a masterclass when Central Punjab clashed with Northern in the match 11 of the National T20 Cup. Central Punjab elected to bat first after winning the toss. Skipper Babar Azam and Ahmad Shahzad put up 67 runs stand for the opening wicket and then the platform was set for them.
Shahzad got out to Mohammad Nawaz, but Babar Azam was in sublime form and continued his master innings. Babar smashed his 6th T20 hundred today, and ended up scoring 105(63). Shoaib Malik 31(21) and Mohammad Akhlaq 21(17) supported skipper Babar Azam right through the innings as Central Punjab posted 200 on the board, the highest team total of the tournament.
The chase didn’t begin well for Northern as they lost both their openers by the 7th over of their innings. However Haider Ali and Mohammad Nawaz continued their good form in the tournament. Both kept the scorecard moving at a good pace. Haider and Nawaz piled up 84 runs together for the third wicket. Nawaz got out to Hasan Ali after scoring 41(21) however Haider Ali continued the attack and smashed another half century in the tournament.
With 38 runs needed off 30 balls, Haider and Asif Ali made sure that Northern chase this total easily. Haider Ali and Asif Ali had a partnership of 58 runs, before Asif Ali was dismissed by Hussain Talat. However the game was finished by then as Northern needed just 3 more runs to win. Haider Ali was the start of the show as he played a brilliant innings of unbeaten 92 runs as Northern registered the highest successful Run chase of the season.
Match 12 – Fakhar Shines as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa defeat table toppers
The table toppers Sindh clashed with defending champions Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in match 12 today. After being put into bat, Sindh failed miserably in the initial overs. Sharjeel Khan started nicely but couldn’t capitalize on the start that he got. Shan Masood also played a disappointing innings of 13(17).
Soon after the openers, the in form skipper of Sindh Sarfaraz Ahmed also got stumped out off Asif Afridi’s bowling. The Veteran experience of Khurram Manzoor saved Sindh from disaster. Khurram was supported by Saud Shakeel as they both put up a partnership of 56 runs. Imran Khan Sr provided the breakthrough by dismissing Saud Shakeel and right on the next ball he dismissed Danish Aziz for a golden duck. Problems kept on increasing for Sindh as they were 97/5.
Khurram Manzoor completed his fifty and kept the scorecard ticking. Later on important contributions by Rumman and Anwar allowed Sindh to post 150 on board. Although the total didn’t look enough but surely it was challenging.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa began the chase brilliantly. Fakhar Zaman took the charge and smashed 28 runs in the 2nd over of the innings which was bowled by Mohammad Hasnain. Although Rumman Raees dismissed the top scorer of the tournament Mohammad Rizwan in the next over but Fakhar Zaman just kept on doing the damage. Fakhar Zaman smashed 49 after he got out to Zahid Mahmood.
Adil Admin and Sahibzada Farhan eased up the equation for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The 58 run stand between the two helped KP greatly. However it felt like there is a twist in the tale after both Farhan and Amin got out on back to back deliveries. Farhan scored 45 while Adil Admin scored 26. Meanwhile Iftikhar Ahmed and Musaddiq Ahmed continued to steer Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home.
Sindh would’ve been close but the target was way too less for them to have any hopes of winning. Afterwards Iftikhar Ahmed and Musaddiq Ahmed just kept the scorecard ticking and finally with a six, Iftikhar Ahmed finished the game in style. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa defeated Sindh by 6 wickets.