Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wins the high scoring thriller against Sindh
Khalid Latif’s 168 run innings couldn’t save Sindh from a loss. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa won the high scoring contest by 7 runs. KPK posted a mammoth total of 319/6 batting first. Khalid Latif fought like a champion in the middle and took Sindh to 312.
Ahmed Shehzad won the toss and elected to bat first. Ahmed Shehzad and Fakhar Zaman were invincible at the top of the order. They contributed 176 runs for the opening stand before Fakhar got out after playing a steady innings of 68 runs.
Ahmed Shahzad, who broke a glass in the dressing room in frustration when he missed a century by 21 runs against Balochistan, looked determined and converted another half-century into a big hundred. Shahzad scored 143 on 135 deliveries. Other than the KPK openers, none of the batsmen could get into even 30s.
Bilal Asif was the best bowler for Sindh, he took two wickets for 46 runs in his 10 overs. Meanwhile, Sohail Tanvir had a nightmarish day with the ball, conceding 90 runs without having any scalp to his name.
Sindh had a disastrous start to their mission to chase down 320 runs. Khurram Manzoor, who scored two consecutive centuries in the tournament, perished early in the piece. Sami Aslam and Sohaib Maqsood followed the path of Manzoor and couldn’t get even into the double figures. Sindh was 22/3 at a stage.
It was Khalid Latif and Fawad Alam to the rescue; they had a slow start and tried to save wickets. The duo had a huge 164 run partnership, Khalid being aggressor during the span. Fawad Alam struggled to middle the ball, but, he kept fighting in the middle till he skied one and was caught in the deep at a score of 74 off 106 deliveries.
Khalid was the sole warrior for Sindh, the defeat looked inevitable for Sindh as the required rate crept up to well over 10 runs per over for the last 10 overs. But, the clean hitting from Khalid from one end brought the game to 34 runs on 12 balls.
Sohail Khan supported Khalid with a little cameo of 25 runs on 16 balls. The penultimate over of Mohammad Asghar cost 19 runs with three big hits. Zia Ul Haq was given the responsibility of bowling the last over in which had to defend 15 runs, he did a decent job and gave his team a 7 run win.
Zia Ul Haq was fabulous with his 10 over spell, he removed 3 batsmen leaking only 50 runs, which was game changing in the context of the game.
Khalid Latif’s blistering innings of 168 runs comprised of nine 6’s and eleven 4’s. However, Ahmed Shehzad was given the Man of the Match award for his 143 runs that proved to be match winning for his team.