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CRICKET - National T20 News
T-20, Batsmen hit 190 sixes and 484 fours
Abdullah Asjad ISLAMABAD-As many as 190 sixes and 484 fours were smashed over 10 days of cricket during the National T20 Cup at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium. Batsmen from Northern, the title winners, hit 30 per cent of the sixes, thanks to Asif Ali. The hard-hitting middle-order batsman hit 19 off his side’s 56 sixes, with 10 of them coming in an innings. Runner-up Balochistan struck 109 fours, which were the most by any side in the tournament. The batsmen’s domination continued over the course of 18 matches. 5,448 runs were scored as 26 half-centuries and two centuries – both from Central Punjab batsmen Babar Azam and Ahmed Shehzad – were cracked.  Boasting a star-studded bowling lineup which included Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Imad Wasim, Musa Khan and Haris Rauf, Northern were expected to be the strongest bowling unit of the tournament. They lived up to their reputation taking the most number of wickets for a team with 59 scalps. Overall, 221 wickets were taken in the tournament.  Reviewing his team’s performance, Northern captain Imad Wasim said: “Our batting and bowling was way ahead of the other teams and to win such tournaments all members of the side need to rise to the occasion which the players of my team did.  “Though this was a domestic tournament, we played for our pride.” As T20 format is never expected to be bowler friendly, only one five-wicket haul was recorded in the tournament, which went to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Usman Shinwari.  The left-arm fast-bowler took five wickets for 13 runs against Northern in the first semi-final of the tournament, which his side lost by three runs.  His captain Mohammad Rizwan bagged the player of the tournament award for scoring 215 runs, with two fifties, and dismissing six batsmen behind the stumps in six matches.  The best batsman and best bowler of the tournament were Awais Zia and Sohail Tanvir for scoring 276 runs and taking 14 wickets in seven matches each.  Pakistan U19 captain and Northern wicketkeeper-batsman Rohail Nazir bagged the best wicketkeeper award with seven dismissals in seven matches.
Northern end with 40-runs victory in the National T20
SB Report  KARACHI:-Northern ended the remarkable unbeaten run of Southern Punjab in the National T20 2nd XI tournament with a comfortable 40-run win in the tournament final played at the National Stadium, Karachi on Thursday. Southern Punjab who had remained undefeated in the tournament by winning each of their five round matches besides overcoming Central Punjab in the semi-final capitulated under pressure in the final against an inspired Northern side that produced a memorable all-round performance to lift the trophy. Batting first after being sent in, Northern posted a mammoth 196 for seven in their 20 overs. Shoaib Ahmed Minhas held the innings together with a 45-ball 68 which included four fours and three sixes. Man-of-the-Match Jamal Anwar hit a quickfire 40 off 21 balls to ensure Northern’s huge total. Opener Zeeshan Malik made 34 off 19 balls; at the end of the innings, semi-final hero Shahzad Azam scored an unbeaten 22 off nine balls (two fours and two sixes). Zulfiqar Babar took three wickets for 28 runs in his four overs.  Southern Punjab lost their way in the chase after an 85-run opening stand between Zeeshan Ashraf (61 off 26 balls, three sixes and eight fours) and Mukhtar Ahmed (22 off 25 balls, two fours). Leg-spinner Osama Mir took three while Nauman Ali and Salman Irshad two wickets each to derail the Southern Punjab batting line-up. Southern Punjab crashed from 85 without loss to 156 all out in 17.5 overs as Northern celebrated an unlikely win. Scores in brief: Final Southern Punjab v Northern, National Stadium, Karachi Northern 196 for 7, 20 overs (Shoaib Ahmed Minhas 68, Jamal Anwar 40, Zeeshan Malik 34; Zulfiqar Babar 3-28) Southern Punjab 156 all out in 17.5 (Zeeshan Ashraf 61, Maqbool Ahmed 26; Osama Mir 3-28, Salman Irshad 2-13) Man-of-the-Match Jamal Anwar Player-of-the-Tournament Nauman Ali (160 runs and 10 wickets) Best-Batsman-of-the-Tournament Zeeshan Ashraf (395 runs) Best-Bowler-of-the-Tournament Raza Ali Dar and Mohammad Imran (13 wickets each) Best-Wicketkeeper-of-the-Tournament Mohammad Ikhlaq and Maqbool Ahmed (7 victims each)  
Haris Rauf takes Northern into the final of the National T20 Cup
SB Report FAISALABAD:-Northern beat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by three runs in a last over thriller at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium to secure a spot in the final of the National T20 Cup. Northern fast-bowler Haris Rauf defended eight runs in the last over, taking three wickets in process, of the first semi-final. Haris started the over by taking the wicket of Iftikhar Ahmed, the top-scorer of the run-chase with 53 from 45 balls. Musadiq Ahmed (0 off 1), Zohaib Khan (5 off 5) and Mohammad Mohsin, who was run-out, were the other three wickets to fall in the over. Northern had set a target of 149 after being asked to bat by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain Mohammad Rizwan. Opener Umar Amin scored a 33-ball 43, hitting four fours and a six, and stitched a 50-run stand for the third-wicket with wicketkeeper-batsman Rohail Nazir, who scored run-a-ball 21. Asif Ali was the other notable run-getter as he scored 28 runs from 16 balls with two sixes and a four.  With five wickets for just 13 runs in four overs, Usman Shinwari was the star performer with the ball, while Imran Khan Jnr took two wickets for 31 runs. In their chase, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lost opener Sahibzada Farhan (o off 4) in the first over. After scoring run-a-ball 15, Rizwan followed him back to the pavilion in the fifth over. A 65-run stand for the third-wicket between Fakhar Zaman (39 off 31) and Iftikhar, who hit six fours, stabled the run chase. Khushdil Shah’s 17-ball 22, which had three fours, consolidated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s position in the match. But, the match turned on its head in the last over. For taking three wickets for 26 runs in three overs and defending eight runs in six balls, Haris bagged man-of-the-match award.With two wickets for 24 runs in four overs, Sohail Tanvir was the other notable bowler in the match. Scores in brief:  Northern 148-9, 20 overs (Umar Amin 43, Asif Ali 28, Rohail Nazir 21; Usman Shinwari 5-13, Imran Khan Jnr 2-31) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 145-8, 20 overs (Iftikhar Ahmed 53, Fakhar Zaman 39, Khushdil Shah 22; Haris Rauf 3-26, Sohail Tanvir 2-24)
Central Punjab and Northern on top in National T20
SB Report  KARACHI:-Central Punjab and Northern joined table-toppers Southern Punjab and Sindh in the semi-finals of the National T20 2nd XI tournament with wins over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan respectively at the National Stadium, Karachi on Tuesday. In the first match of the day, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa scored 148 for nine after opting to bat first. Asad Afridi top-scored with 43 off 25 balls, his innings included three fours and three sixes. Mehran Ibrahim made 31 off 26 balls, the two rescued the side after Ehsan Adil and Bilawal Iqbal had reduced them to 34 for four. Ehsan finished with three wickets for 16 runs in his four overs which included a maiden over while Bilawal took two wickets for 33 runs. In reply, Central Punjab batsmen chose an attacking approach which helped them chase down the target with 20 balls to spare, the big win gave them a much needed surge in the net-run-rate and confirmed their semi-final spot. Muhammad Saad scored an unbeaten 35-ball 59 with the help of three fours and four sixes. Nauman Anwar scored 50 off 37 balls with the help of four fours and three sixes. Sameen Gul with two wickets for 23 runs in two overs was the most successful Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bowler. Balochistan after opting to bat first posted 147 for seven against Northern. Balochistan were reduced to 96 for seven when Nazar Hussain (39 not out, seven fours) and Dawood Khan 13 not out joined hands to take the score to 147 for seven through their unbroken 51-run stand for the eight wicket. Left-arm-spinners Raza Hasan and Noman Ali took two wickets each for Northern. In the first semi-final on Wednesday, table-toppers Southern Punjab will take on Central Punjab (fourth in the table) while second placed Sindh will play (third placed) Northern in the second semi-final. Scores in brief: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Central Punjab, National Stadium, Karachi Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 148 for 9, 20 overs (Asad Afridi 43, Mehran Ibrahim 31; Ehsan Adil 3-16, Bilawal Iqbal 2-33) Central Punjab 149 for 4, 16.4 overs (Muhammad Saad 59, Nauman Anwar 50; Sameen Gul 2-23) Result: Central Punjab won by six wickets Northern v Balochistan, National Stadium, Karachi Balochistan 147 for 7, 20 overs (Nazar Hussain 39 not out, Jalat Khan 18; Raza Hasan 2-22, Noman Ali 2-31) Northern 151 for 5, 17 overs (Shoaib Ahmed Minhas 37, Zeeshan Malik 37 ; Nazar Hussain 2-32)  
Southern Punjab score third consecutive win
SB Report KARACHI:-Southern Punjab recorded a crushing seven wicket win over Balochistan in the National T20 2nd XI tournament at the National Stadium, Karachi on Thursday. This was Southern Punjab’s third consecutive victory; they remain the only unbeaten side in the event and now have six points from three games and are at the top of the table. In the second match of the day, Sindh overcame Northern by three wickets to register their third win in four games. Balochistan opted to bat first against Southern Punjab, the decision backfired as left-armer Zia-ul-Haq ran through the Balochistan batting with a four-wicket haul, conceding 18 runs in his four over spell. Mohammad Imran and Zulfiqar Babar took two wickets each while two batsmen were dismissed run out. Fahad Iqbal (22) and Gulraiz Sadaf (21) were the only two Balochistan batsmen to offer some resistance. Southern Punjab chased down the target in 15.5 overs for the loss of three wickets. Openers Mukhtar Ahmed (29) and Zeeshan Ashraf (25) added 47 for the first wicket. Muhammad Mohsin 18 not out and Naveed Yasin 11 not out took Southern Punjab home, Atif Jabbar took two wickets for Balochistan. Batting first, Northern posted 140 for the loss of six wickets after they were asked to bat first by Sindh captain Rameez Raja Jr. Rameez left the field due to his mother’s death and was replaced by Jahid Ali in the playing eleven with wicketkeeper Saifullah Bangash taking over as captain. Northern’s innings included a 53-ball 76 by opener Shoaib Ahmed, Shoaib hit 10 fours and one six in his innings. Usama Mir with 16 not out was the second highest scorer along with Sarmad Bhatti who also scored 16. Hassan Khan and Muhammad Umer took two wickets each. Saifullah led from the front with the bat as Sindh survived some anxious moments before reaching the target with four balls and three wickets to spare. Saifullah remained unbeaten on 47 off 27 balls, his innings included eight fours. Jaahid scored 31 off 24 balls. Raza Hasan and Noman Ali took two wickets each for Northern. Scores in brief: Balochistan v Southern Punjab, National Stadium, Karachi Balochistan 100 all out, 19 overs (Fahad Iqbal 22, Gulraiz Sadaf 21; Zia-ul-Haq 4-18) Southern Punjab 101 for 3, 15.5 overs (Mukhtar Ahmed 29, Zeeshan Ashraf 25; Atif Jabbar 2-21) Result: Southern Punjab won by 7 wickets Northern v Sindh, National Stadium, Karachi Northern 140 for 6, 20 overs (Shoaib Ahmed 76; Hassan Khan 2-24, Muhammad Umer 2-28) Sindh 144 for 7, 19.2 overs (Saifullah Bangash 47 not out, Jahid Ali 31; Raza Hasan 2-19, Noman Ali 2-30) Result: Sindh won by 3 wickets
Imam and Akif secure seven-wicket win for Balochistan
SB Report FAISALABAD:-Imam-ul-Haq’s half-century and Akif Javed’s three-fer secured a seven-wicket win for Balochistan against Southern Punjab in the ninth match of the ongoing National T20 Cup at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad on Thursday. Balochistan captain Haris Sohail decided to bowl first after winning the toss and the decision produced the desired results for his side immediately with young pacer Akif removing Shan Masood and Mohammad Hafeez in the first over of the match. The left-arm pacer struck again in the death overs, accounting for Aamer Yamin’s wicket. In his four overs, Akif took three wickets for 16 runs. Sohaib Maqsood and Wahab Riaz were the two batsmen who put up a fight with the bat and helped Southern Punjab to a respectable score of 144 for seven. Sohaib scored a 34-ball 35, while Wahab’s batting form continued as the 34-year-old cracked 31 runs from 17 balls with three fours and a six. Balochistan got off to a solid start thanks to a well-crafted 51 off 39 by Imam. The left-handed opener cracked six fours and stitched a 60-run opening stand with Awais Zia (22 off 24) before the latter lost his wicket on the penultimate ball of the ninth over. Haris’ and Imran Butt’s unbeaten scores of 25 off 22 and 28 off 21, respectively, ensured Balochistan chase down the total comfortably with seven wickets and three balls spare. Mohammad Zahid and Wahab picked up two wickets each in the run chase for 28 and 37 runs. Imam was declared man-of-the-match. Scores in brief: Southern Punjab 144-7, 20 overs (Sohaib Maqsood 35, Wahab Riaz 31, Aamer Yamin 27; Akif Javed 3-16, Mohammad Asghar 2-17) Balochistan 145-3, 19.3 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 51, Imran Butt 28 not out, Haris Sohail 25 not out, Awais Zia 22; Zahid Mahmood 2-28, Wahab Riaz 2-37)
Sindh beat KPK by eight runs
Sports Bulletin Report FAISALABAD-Sindh beat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) by eight runs and secured their second win in the ongoing National T20 Cup at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium. The Asad Shafiq-led side scored 176 runs for the loss of six wickets after they were asked to bat. The opening pair of Khurram Manzoor and Ahsan Ali provided a solid foundation with an 83-run opening stand in 10.1 overs. The partnership ended with the dismissal of Khurram, who scored 35 off 32 with five fours. But, Ahsan kept going from the other end and cracked a brilliant 37-ball 64, hitting eight fours and three sixes. The 25-year-old was later named man-of-the-match. One-drop batsman Saad Ali was the other notable scorer with 20 off 18. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had used five bowlers and all picked up a wicket each. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wobbled earlier in the chase as they were 48 for three in 5.5 overs due to two back-to-back wickets of Fakhar Zaman (15 off 11) and Mohammad Mohsin, who registered a golden duck, off Mohammad Hasnain’s bowling in the fifth over of the innings. A 52-run partnership for the fourth-wicket between captain Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed denied any further inroads to Sindh bowlers. Rizwan kept the contest alive till the very last over, scoring 43-ball 70, before he was dismissed on the third ball of the last over. The wicketkeeper-batsman struck six fours and two sixes during his stay at the crease. Anwar Ali was the pick of the bowlers for Sindh, taking three wickets for 30 runs in three overs. Scores in brief: Sindh 176-6, 20 overs (Ahsan Ali 64, Khurram Manzoor 35, Saad Ali 20) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 168-6, 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 70, Israrullah 28, Iftikhar Ahmed 20; Anwar Ali 3-30, Mohammad Hasnain 2-29) (SB Report)  
KPK and Central Punjab register first wins in National T20
Sports Bulletin Report KARACHI-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recorded their first win in the National T20 2nd XI tournament at the National Stadium, Karachi on Wednesday. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who had lost their opening two matches outplayed hosts Sindh by six wickets, this was Sindh’s first defeat in the tournament. Central Punjab, who like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had lost their first two matches, won their first match of the event, overcoming Balochistan by 57 runs.   In the first match on Wednesday, Sindh were put into bat by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the home side scored 169 for six in their 20 overs. Middle-order batsmen Mohammad Waqas (36) and Ramiz Aziz (34) were the main contributors. Danish Aziz scored an unbeaten 26 off 15 balls with the help of three fours and one six. Sajid Khan took two wickets for 28 runs. Gohar Ali’s 28-ball 49 and Nabi Gul’s 44 took Khyber Pakhtunkhwa past the target in 17.2 overs. Gohar hit two sixes and six fours in his innings while Nabi continued his impressive form in the tournament with a 28-ball effort that included four fours and one six. Left-arm pacer Ghulam Muddasar took three wickets for 31 runs for Sindh. Central Punjab opted to bat first and posted 198 for six. Their total was built on a 97-run stand between Nauman Anwar (62 off 36 balls, six fours and four sixes) and Mohammad Saad (66 off 46 balls, four fours and three sixes). Zahid Mansoor remained unbeaten on 39 off 22 balls, his stroke-filled innings included three sixes and one four. Balochistan captain Akbar-ur-Rehman took three wickets while Khurram Shehzad took two wickets. In reply, Balochistan were restricted to 141 for eight. Ibtisam Sheikh top-scored with an unbeaten 46 off 25 balls, Jalat Khan scored 29 runs. Central Punjab bowlers maintained a stranglehold on Balochistan batting and never allowed them to get close to the asking rate after the first six batsmen were sent back with only 67 runs on the board. Raza Ali Dar who took seven wickets in the previous game once again starred with the ball taking three wickets for 23 runs. Scores in brief: Sindh v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, National Stadium, Karachi Sindh 169 for six, 20 overs (Muhammad Waqas 36, Ramiz Aziz 34; Sajid Khan 2-28) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 171 for 4, 17.2 overs (Gohar Ali 49, Nabi Gul 44; Ghulam Muddasar 3-31)  Result: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa won by 6 wickets. Balochistan v Central Punjab, National Stadium, Karachi Central Punjab 198 for 6, 20 overs (Muhammad Saad 66, Nauman Anwar 62, Zahid Mansoor 39 not out; Akbar-ur-Rehman 3-31, Khurram Shehzad 2-32) Balochistan 141 for 8, 20 overs (Ibtisam Sheikh 46, Jalat Khan 29; Raza Ali Dar 3-23) Result: Central Punjab won by 57 runs (SB Report)
Wahab Riaz leads Southern Punjab to four-wicket win over KPK
Sports Bulletin Report FAISALABAD:-Wahab Riaz’s three for 28 with the ball and an unbeaten 17-ball 42 secured a four-wicket win for Southern Punjab over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium in the sixth match of the National T20 Cup on Tuesday. Wahab took the wickets of Sahibzada Farhan (27 off 19), Adil Amin (7 off 12) and Iftikhar Ahmad (0 off 2) to leave Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reeling at 51 for four in 8.5 overs. That Khyber Pakhtunkhwa managed a respectable score was due an 83-run stand between Mohammad Rizwan and Khushdil Shah Rizwan scored 45 off 40 balls, hitting four fours and a six, while Khushdil cracked an unbeaten 32-ball 56, embellished with five fours and three sixes. Aamer Yamin and Mohammad Irfan picked up a wicket each as they gave 31 and 19 runs, respectively. Southern Punjab floundered in the first half of the chase with half of their batting lineup back in the pavilion in 8.5 overs with only 51 runs on board as Mohammad Mohsin took three wickets. But with his unbeaten 49 off 35 balls, which included four fours and a six, Saif Badar weathered the storm. He crafted a 55-run stand with Aamer (15 off 10). Any doubts over the success of the run-chase vanished when Wahab joined Saif as the former took control and spanked five fours and two sixes to take Southern Punjab home with four wickets and nine balls spare.This was Southern Punjab’s first win in the tournament.  Scores in brief: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 154-5, 20 overs (Khushdil Shah 56 not out, Mohammad Rizwan 45, Sahibzada Farhan 27; Wahab Riaz 3-28) Southern Punjab 155-6, 18.3 overs (Saif Badar 49 not out, Wahab Riaz 42 not out, Sohaib Maqsood 24; Mohammad Mohsin 3-37)
Ahmed Shehzad 111 help Central Punjab chase Northern 222
SB Report FAISALABAD-An unbeaten 111 from 63 balls by Ahmed Shehzad helped Central Punjab to a four-wicket win over Northern in the fifth fixture of the ongoing National T20 Cup at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium. Set a target of 223, Central Punjab chased down the total on the penultimate ball of the match. Opener Ahmed played an instrumental role in the run-chase, hitting 13 fours and three sixes to guide his team to their first win of the tournament. The next best scorer in the Central Punjab’s innings was Saad Nasim, who made 29 from 20 balls with three fours and a six. Faheem Ashraf lofted two sixes and a four in his 28, which came off 16 balls. Northern’s captain Imad Wasim was the pick of the bowlers with three for 38. That Northern had set 222 for six in 20 overs – after deciding to bat - was because of Asif Ali, who struck a blistering 93 off 35 balls with four fours and 10 sixes. Mohammad Nawaz scored 51 off 35 balls, cracking four sixes and a four as the pair stitched a 107-run partnership for the third-wicket. Faheem took three wickets for 44 runs. Waqas Maqsood, Nasim Shah and Usman Qadir took a wicket each. Scores in brief: Northern 222-6, 20 overs (Asif Ali 93, Mohammad Nawaz 51, Umar Amin 38, Imad Wasim 22; Faheem Ashraf 3-44) Central Punjab 226-6, 19.5 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 111, Saad Nasim 29, Faheem Ashraf 28, Rizwan Hussain 20; Imad Wasim 3-38, Sohail Tanvir 2-50)