Rawalpindi: Azam Khan smashed 88 runs off 43 balls to lay down a solid foundation for Sindh to qualify for the National T20 Cup semi-finals after defeating Northern by 25 runs.
Sent into bat first, Sindh lost Khurram Manzoor earlier for just 19 runs but Sharjeel Khan (21) and Saud Shakeel (25) scored 36 runs together to contribute to Sindh’s towering total of 221-4.
However, it was Azam supported by skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed who smashed the ball all around the park to put pressure on the table-toppers. They both put 130 runs together on the scoreboard for a fourth-wicket partnership. Azam struck five fours and eight sixes during his stay at the crease.
Meanwhile, Sarfaraz while gaining his form back scored yet another prominent knock in the tournament. He scored 52 runs off 28 balls laced with three boundaries and as many sixes.
Mohammad Amir bagged two while Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz shared a wicket apiece for Norther.
In reply, Northern were off to a potent start as Umar Amin (51) and Zeeshan Malik (61) scored 116 runs for the opening partnership. But, Anwar Ali removed both the well-set batsmen on back-to-back deliveries in 13th over to bring Sindh back in the match.
Asif Ali walked back on run-out leaving Haider Ali behind on the crease who was then joined by Shadab. They both scored 39 runs together but couldn’t stay for long as Mohammad Husnain bagged both of them in quick successions.
Haider made 27 off 13 balls while Shadab scored 26 off 16 balls with the help of two boundaries and a six. Mohammad Nawaz struck a boundary to score 12 off 8 while Rohail Nazir and Imad Wasim contributed 4 and 5 runs respectively to take Northern’s total to 196-6.
Husnain bagged three while Anwar took two scalps to help Sindh defend the total.
It must be noted here that Sindh becomes the second team after Northern to qualify for National T20 Cup semi-finals.