Rawalpindi: Sohaib Maqsood with his blistering 81 runs off 29 balls steered Southern Punjab (SP) into the National T20 Cup semi-finals with a seven-wicket victory over Baluchistan.
Aamer Yamin, the right-handed batsman completed the job for SP down the order by smashing 33 runs off just 9 balls with the help of a boundary and four maximums. As result, SP completed 162 runs chase in just 10.4 overs to mark their entry in the final four of the event.
While batting first, Imam-ul-Haq (48) and Bismillah Khan (41) drove Baluchistan to 161-6 in 20 overs.
Imam and Bismillah partnered for second wicket partnership and scored 69 runs together for Baluchistan who lost opener, Awais Zia, earlier for just 16 runs. Imam struck three boundaries and two sixes while Bismillah smashed two boundaries and as many maximums.
Skipper Haris Sohail with the help of two sixes made 24 runs off 21 balls while Akbar-ur-Rehman scored 37 runs off 21 balls laced with three boundaries and two sixes.
For SP, Mohammad Imran bagged two wickets while Mohammad Ilyas, Zahid Mehmood and Aamer shared a wicket apiece.
In reply, SP changed the batting order as they needed to chase the respective target in 12.3 overs to make it into the semis. Sohaib and Zeeshan Ashraf opened the inning for them and they both scored 87 runs together in 5.3 overs. Sohaib struck 13 boundaries and four sixes while Zeeshan made 21 off 10 deliveries laced with a boundary and two maximums.
After the wicket of Sohaib, Aamer and Hussain Talat (20) joined the crease and contributed 49 runs to the team’s successful run-chase.
Amad Butt bagged two wickets while Taj Wali took a wicket for Baluchistan.
With this convincing win, SP has joined Northern, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Sindh in the tournament’s semi-finals, scheduled to take place on Saturday [17 October].