Sindh and Balochistan registered victories in their National T20 Cup fixtures at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium on Wednesday.
In the first game of the tournament’s fourth day, Sindh claimed an eight-wicket win over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Sindh managed to score 176-6 in their 20 overs with Ahsan Ali scoring a blistering half-century. Anwar Ali returned with figures of 3-30 in his three overs which restricted Mohammad Rizwan’s side to 168-6 in chase of 177-run target
Sindh, after being sent in to bat first, had a good start to their innings as openers Khurram Manzoor and Ahsan Ali anchored the side with their 83-run partnership.
Top-scorer Ahsan Ali’s half-century took the side past 130 before he was dismissed for his blistering 64 off 37 deliveries with eight boundaries and three sixes to his name.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stuttered at the start of the run chase as they were reduced to 48-3 inside six overs. However, skipper Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed’s 51-run partnership for the fourth wicket took the side to 100 in the 12th over.
Rizwan tried to keep the side alive after Iftikhar’s dismissal with his 41-run partnership for the fifth wicket. However, the game went out of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s reach when the skipper was dismissed for 43-ball 70 after hitting six boundaries and two sixes.
In the second game, Balochistan triumphed over Central Punjab by 27 runs.
Balochistan, after being asked to bat first, finished with 164-8 on the board with Awais Zia and Bismillah Khan scoring half-centuries. Their bowlers put on a show to restrict a well-oiled batting unit to 137-8 in their allotted 20 overs.
Haris Sohail’s side got off to a bad start as they lost the wicket of Imam-ul-Haq in the second over. Awais Zia and Bismillah Khan put on a 61-run partnership for the second wicket before the latter was dismissed for his 23-ball 51 with the help of seven boundaries and three sixes.
The Punjab bowlers managed bagged two quick wickets to reduce the side to 89-4 but Hussain Talat and Awais Zia took the side past 130. The opening batsman eventually fell for his 56-run knock which came off 43 deliveries and included four boundaries and two sixes.
Central Punjab had a good start to their run chase as openers Babar Azam and Ahmed Shehzad scored 52 runs together before the talismanic batsman departed for his 20-ball 30.
Babar’s dismissal triggered a mini-collapse as the side began to lose their wickets at regular intervals with Balochistan bowlers running through the batting order while required run rate putting pressure on the batting side.
Only Ahmed Shehzad managed to provide some resistance to the opposition as he top-scored with his 41-ball 52 which included five boundaries and a maximum.
Amad Butt was the star performer with the ball for Balochistan as he finished with 4-23 in four overs.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tops the points table with two points due to net run-rate followed by Balochistan, Northern, Southern Punjab, Central Punjab, and Sindh.