Haris Rauf’s brilliant spell paved way for Northern’s sixth win in seven matches to book a spot in the semi-final of the National T20 Cup.

While on the other hand it was another bad day for Southern Punjab as they succumbed to their fifth loss in six games. After a remarkable win against Sindh where they chased down 217, Shan Masood’s side failed to chase down a relatively easy target of 146 and fell short by five runs.

For Southern Punjab, it was a tale of two extremes inside three days. They had pulled off a remarkable 217-run chase for a two-wicket win over Sindh on Friday, but stumbled to a five-run loss in this game when chasing a relatively modest 146 for victory. This was their fifth defeat in six games, leaving them at the bottom of the six-team table.

It was a sorry start to the chase for South Punjab as they were reduced to 30 for 3 in the 8th over of the innings. Shan Masood and Umer Siddique both fell to Haris Rauf who ended uo with figures of 4 for 23, He even bowled a maiden over in his spell.

Khushdil Shah, who hit the fastest T20 hundred by a Pakistani the other day, put up a resistance with 26 off 20 balls, with Zeeshan Ashraf, who played some inventive shots in his 20-ball 25, lifting the scoring rate during their fifth-wicket stand. After them, Aamer Yamin’s enterprising 33 off 19 balls pushed the game into the final over, but with 15 to get, Southern only managed nine runs against¬†Imad Wasim, who ended with 2 for 33.

Earlier, Northern themselves were in trouble with the bat as they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. Contributions from Sohail Akhtar and Asif Ali were crucial in the middle overs. They scores 35 and 28 respectively. Imad Wasim gave the innings much needed impetus with 26 off 18 to give some respectability to the score.

The author is a member of staff and heads the sports and business desks at The Correspondent. He mainly lives in the shadows as a ghost writer so you may have read his work and not even known it. He can be reached at asadqasim@thecorrespondent.pk


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