Match 20 – Southern Punjab win the toss again, and win the game again
The Punjab clash kicked off with Southern Punjab once again winning the toss and deciding to chase. Chasing worked for Southern Punjab yesterday as they secured their first win of the tournament. Central Punjab didn’t begin their innings convincingly as out of form Kamran Akmal got out for duck and Mohammad Akhlaq managed just 7 runs. Hussain Talat batted at 3 in the absence of Babar Azam. Talat continued his tremendous form, and smashed another half century.
Hussain Talat was supported by Saif Badar first and then Shoaib Malik. Saif and Malik scored 11 and 26 respectively, while Talat finished with 68(47). However the tail couldn’t contribute much and hence Central Punjab put up 154/9 on the board. The total wasn’t that secured, yet it was competitive. Zia-ul-Haq was the best bowler with 4 wickets.
Southern Punjab were also off to a shaky start. Zeeshan Ashraf and Agha Salman got out for single digit scores, courtesy of some great new ball bowling by Faheem Ashraf and Waqas Maqsood. Tayyab Tahir, the young opener continued to score heavily. Tayyab was supported by Imran Randhawa. The partnership between Imran and Tayyab was of 42 runs that saved Southern Punjab from a big collapse. This partnership was broken by Zafar Gohar. Khushdil Shah finally clicked with the bat after the dismissal of Imran Randhawa, and scored his first half century of the season. The partnership between Khushdil and Tayyab Tahir was the decisive one. The stand between the two was of 92 runs, Tayyab Tahir got out for 68(52) while Khushdil Shah remained unbeaten on 51(36)*. Southern Punjab got their second win of the event and kept their semi finals dream alive. Tayyab Tahir was awarded Man of the Match.
Match 22 – Imam-ul-Haq regains form as Balochistan take Important win
Balochistan needed a win desperately in the second game of the day. As Southern Punjab has started winning matches, Balochistan are now placed at the bottom of the Points Table. Balochistan won the toss and elected to bowl first against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Balochistan proved their decision right as KP made a slow and struggling start. Junaid Khan dismissed opener Aamir Azmat in the first over, Mohammad Rizwan was the next batsman to get out who scored 17(19). Rizwan’s wicket was taken by Najeebullah. Israrullah also got out afterwards as KP were struggling at 51/3.
Sahibzada Farhan continued his great batting form but wickets kept falling at the other end. Iftikhar Ahmed scored just 6, while Fakhar Zaman who was batting in the middle order also failed with the bat as he scored just 12. Sahibzada Farhan continued the hard work all alone and compete his fifty. Mohammad Wasim Jr spent some time at the middle to support Sahibzada Farhan. Farhan accelerated at the right time as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa managed to put 155/6 on board. Sahibzada Farhan scored 78(59). Junaid Khan was the top wicket taker of the first innings with 3 wickets to his name.
Balochistan also began their innings in a similar fashion like KP. The opening stand was of 33 runs but the pace was slow. Abdul Wahid Bangalzai was the first batsman to get out when he lost his wicket to Imran Khan Sr. A couple of overs later, Abdullah Shafique also got out. Skipper Imam-ul-Haq tried rebuilding the innings with Haris Sohail but continuous dot balls built pressure on Balochistan and Haris Sohail got out too. With 82/3 in the 13th over, Balochistan were in a bit of trouble. Umaid Asif was promoted at No.5. Umaid supported his skipper Imam-ul-Haq in this chase. Imam finally scored some runs and it proved to be match winning for Balochistan. Imam completed his first fifty of the tournament. His partnership with Umaid Asif was of 58 runs which proved to be the game changing partnership. Umaid got out to Imran Khan Sr but with just 16 needed in the last 2 overs, it was just too easy for Balochistan. Amad Butt smashed a six to further ease up the equation. With 5 needed in the final over, Balochistan finished the game with 2 balls to spare. Imam-ul-Haq remained not out on 64(46)*.