Babar Azam returns as Central Punjab face unbeatable Northern


Multan: Pakistan’s limited-overs captain Babar Azam will play his first match of the ongoing National T20 Cup against unbeatable and table toppers Northern in Rawalpindi.

All-rounder Imad Wasim, who was in England to play T20 Blast for Notts Outlaws is also likely to play his first match. Both will lead their respective sides.

Central Punjab is aiming to post a win on the points table after winning only one match out of five in the first leg played in Multan while Northern are looking to strengthen their winning streak as they have won five matches consecutively.

The 25-year-old Babar is likely to replace right-hander Abid Ali and will open the batting with veteran wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal.

It would also be interesting to see how he pairs up with the tournament’s leading run-scorer Abdullah Shafiq. The 20-year-old has scored 236 runs in five matches with one century and a half-century.

On the other hand, Northern will again look to make some changes and despite doing in previous matches, they look a very strong opponent.

The defending champions leading run-getter is Zeeshan Malik, scoring 192 runs in four innings. Three bowlers are in the top five leading wicket-takers of the competition.

Haris Rauf is at number second with 10 wickets while stand-in captain Shadab Khan has bagged 8 and young Musa Khan has 7 wickets to his name.

The match between the two sides will start at 3.00 pm.

Read: Five talking points from first round of National T20 Cup