Rawalpindi: Shan Masood played captain’s knock to drive Southern Punjab (SP) into the National T20 Cup final after defeating Northern by 7 wickets.
The left-handed opener struck 79 runs off 58 balls with the help of six boundaries and two sixes to take his team from nowhere into the final of the tournament.
While batting first, Ali Imran (50) and Shadab Khan (48) helped Northern post 160-5 in 20 overs. Northern were off to a decent start with openers Ali and Zeeshan Malik scoring 37 runs in 5.1 overs. Mohammad Abbas bagged Zeeshan in the sixth over to reduce the opponents to 37-1.
The wicket of Zeeshan put a little pressure on the team but Imran stood solid in front of the bowlers. The right-handed batsman struck four boundaries and three sixes. Haider Ali with the help of a boundary scored 18 runs off 17 balls.
Imad (19) and Shadab (48) partnered for a fifth-wicket partnership and scored 56 runs together. Shadab smashed four boundaries and three sixes during his stay at the crease. Rohail struck a boundary to finish things off style for Northern.
For SP, Zahid Mehmood bagged three wickets for 28 runs while Mohammad Abbas took a wicket for 32 runs.
In reply, SP started their batting strongly with openers Shan and Zeeshan Ashraf scoring 91 runs together to lay down a solid foundation for the run-chase. Wicket-keeper batsman Zeeshan scored 55 runs off 32 balls laced with four boundaries and as many sixes.
The hero of the other night, Sohaib Maqsood managed to get 16 runs off 18 balls with the help of a boundary. SP completed the chase in 18.4 overs.
For Northern, Haris Rauf, Shadab and Mohammad Musa shared a wicket apiece.
It must be noted here that Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will lock horns in the second semi-final today at 7:30 pm.