Babar, Faheem shine as CP thrash Northern by eight wickets


Rawalpindi: Central Punjab have beat defending champions Northern by eight wickets in the 15th match of the National T20 Cup.

CP’s captain Babar Azam and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf shined as they posted a 105 run stand for the third wicket and chased the target of 166 in 17th over.

CP have ended the winning streak of Northern of 10 matches, which was the second-best in the history of the tournament.

Earlier, Hard-hitting batsman Asif Ali and vice-captain Shadab Khan’s valuable fifth-wicket stand guided Northern to a score of 165/9.

Asif and Shadab posted a 87-run stand. Asif scored 40-balls 67, smashing five sixes and four fours. Shadab made 39 in just 25 balls which included 5 fours.

Northern lost Umar Amin (0) in the first over. Later, Faheem Ashraf removed two Northern’s batsmen, Sohail Akhtar and Rohail Nazir in his maiden over of the comeback match.

Faheem picked the wicket of Zeeshan Malik in the second over. Northern were 52/4 in 6.4 overs after Shadab and Asif took the charge.

Leg-spinner Usman Qadir broke the vital partnership, removing Asif and Shadab in two consecutive balls. In the last overs of the innings, pacer Haris Rauf added vital 12 runs to the total. Faheem was the pick of the bowlers, claiming figures of 4/18. Ehsan Ali and Usman picked two each.

CP, set to chase 166 started the innings aggressively. Wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal and Babar registered a 54-run stand as Shadab caught Kamran on his own bowling. In his next over, he removed the leading-run scorer Abdullah Shafique(3).

After two-wickets, Northern bowlers looked hopeless in front of Babar and Faheem. The 25-year-old Babar smashed 52-balls 86, powered by eleven fours and two sixes while Faheem took the Northern’s bowlers to the cleaners, scoring 52 in just 26 balls which included two sixes and seven fours.

For taking 4-18 and smashing 52 in his comeback match, Faheem was rewarded as the player of the match.