Khyber Pukhtunkhwa has ended the tournament’s leader unbeaten run with a comfortable six wickets win as they smoothly chased Sindh’s 151 total in their fourth match of the National T20 Cup played at Rawalpindi on Thursday.
The unbeaten Sindh set a 151-run target, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa completed the chase in 17.4 overs with six wickets left. Opener Fakhar Zaman led the charge for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with a typically aggressive 49 off 32 balls (four fours, four sixes). The left-hander hit pacer Mohammad Hasnain for three sixes and a four in the second over the innings as Hasnain conceded 28 runs –most in an over in the tournament so far.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa batters didn’t let the early loss of their prolific captain Mohammad Rizwan affect the chase as Sahibzada Farhan, Adil Amin and Musadiq Ahmed took the side past the target.
Farhan scored 45 off 30 balls with the help of three fours and as many sixes. The right-hander added 58 runs for the third-wicket with Adil who scored 26 off 19 balls (three fours)
Earlier, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa opted to bowl after winning the toss. Sharjeel Khan hit three fours in the opening over of the match bowled by Shaheen Shah Afridi. The left-hander was however pegged back by the bowlers and was eventually dismissed by Arshad Iqbal for 25. Sindh lost Shan Masood (13) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (0) in Asif Afridi’s over to crash to 41 for three (7.3 overs).
Khurram Manzoor and Saud Shakeel did some damage to the bowling team adding 56 for the fourth wicket. The left-handed Saud was dismissed for 32 by Imran Khan Snr who narrowly failed to take a hat-trick as Shaheen spilled a difficult chance in the slips.
Meanwhile, Central Punjab became the first side in the ongoing edition to post a 200-run total on the back of Babar’s sixth T20 century, while thinking they had achieved enough during the mid-innings break. However, they were stunned by an extraordinary batting effort from Northern. Haider was the mastermind behind the monumental chase for 201 as the right-hander thumped a career-best 91 from just 53 deliveries while striking half a dozen sixes and as many fours.
Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Northern and Sindh sit at the top three on the points table with equal 6 points, whereas Central Punjab has occupied the fourth, Balochistan fifth and Southern Punjab without a victory sits at the bottom of the table.