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Northern, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Emerge Victorious on Opening Day

haider rizwan
       Image Courtesy : Pakistan Cricket Board

MATCH 1 – Northern vs Balochistan:

The National T20 Cup 2021 began with a low scoring yet entertaining contest between Balochistan and Northern. Right from the beginning, Balochistan were nowhere in the game. They began slowly, then kept on losing wickets consistently. At one point Balochistan were 70/5, but then Amad Butt and Kashif Bhatti provided some resilience.

Balochistan finished at 139/7 at the end of their 20 overs thanks to a 66 Run partnership between Amad Butt and Kashif Bhatti. Every bowler from Northern was good, but the pick of the bowlers were Haris Rauf and Mohammad Nawaz who grabbed 2 wickets each and remained economical as well.

Northern had no trouble whatsoever in the run chase. They did lose Umar Amin early, but it proved beneficial for them as Haider Ali did something unexpected. After a terrible CPL, Haider Ali stunned everyone with a 28 ball half century. Apart from Haider, Asif Ali also activated the destruction mode and smashed 43 off just 20 balls. The game ended with Northern winning by 6 wickets and 3 overs to spare.

Match 2 – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Central Punjab:

The second game of the National T20 Cup 2021 was a must watch encounter. Plenty of Pakistani stars were seen in action. The likes of Babar Azam, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi were in action in this game. Batting first, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa put up a big score on the scoreboard. As usual it was once again a majestic performance by Mohammad Rizwan.

Rizwan and Fakhar had a opening stand of 67. After the dismissal of Fakhar Zaman, Rizwan continued to pile up the runs. After the fall of the 3rd wicket of Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed decided to go berserk and gave KP a fitting finish. Iftikhar Ahmed ended with 40(25) as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finished at 187 at the end of their 20 overs.

Central Punjab didn’t look comfortable in the chase right from the start. They kept losing wickets consistently. Skipper Babar Azam and Ahmad Shahzad did get a start but they threw their start away. Mohammad Akhlaq was the top run scorer for Central Punjab as he tried his best to guide his team over the line but no-one supported him. Akhlaq ended with 62(35) but unfortunately ended up on the losing side. Shaheen Shah Afridi took 3 scalps while Imran Khan Sr. and Arshad Iqbal managed 2 wickets for KP as Central Punjab fell short by 36 runs at the end.

Also Read: National T20 Cup Captains and their recent performances

Individual Records:

The Skipper of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa completed his 1000 T20 runs in National T20 Cup history. During his half century today, Mohammad Rizwan completed 1000 T20 runs in the tournament. Ahmed Shahzad of Central Punjab completed 6000 T20 runs today during his innings of 24(16).

Man of the Matches:

Haider Ali was awarded Man of the Match for his brilliant fifty in the first game.

Mohammad Rizwan was awarded Man of the Match for his half century in the 2nd game of the day.

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