Northern, Central Punjab qualify for Pakistan Cup semi-finals


Karachi: Northern and Central Punjab have qualified for the semi-finals of Pakistan Cup, joining table-toppers Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Northern defeated Sindh while Central Punjab beat Sindh in the final round of the tournament. Meanwhile, KP continued dominance, beating Balochistan at State Bank Stadium.

Centuries by Adil Amin and emerging Mohammad Haris led KP mammoth 370 for nine. The duo added 227 runs for the sixth-wicket after KP were struggling at 99 for five.

Adil scored 121 off 90 balls, powered by nine fours and five sixes while Haris made 75-ball 100 which included 11 fours and two sixes. Balochistan pacers Gohar Faiza and Taj Wali picked four and three wickets respectively.

Balochistan started the chase positively as captain Imran Farhat and wicketkeeper Bismillah Khan (42) added 119 for first wicket. Imran signed-off from professional cricket with a brilliant 123 off 88 balls, powered by 17 fours and three sixes.

Akbar-ur-Rehman (50), Ayaz Tassawar (53), Haris Sohail (40) looked good in the middle but failed to chase down the target and fell 23 runs short.

Balochistan finished with six points and were already out of the competition before this match.

Read: Imran Farhat signs off professional cricket with century

At UBL Sports Complex, Northern confirmed their spot in final four as they beat Southern Punjab by 44 runs.

Skipper Rohail Nazir starred with 88 off 71 balls, hitting seven fours and four sixes and partnered with Umar Amin to add 138 for fourth wicket. Umar made 83 off 78 balls with the help of 10 fours.

For SP, Zahid Mehmood took three wickets while Mohammad Abbas took two wickets.

SP started the chase strongly as captain Shan Masood and Mukhtar Ahmed added 127 runs for the first-wicket. Mukhtar was dismissed for 63, his innings included five fours and two sixes.

For second wicket, Shan and Sohail added 53 but they kept losing wickets after this partnership. Shan made 141 off 128 which included 12 fours.

Salman Irshad, Musa Khan and Hammad Azam took two wickets each for Northern.

On the other hand, Central Punjab beat Sindh by four wickets despite Khurram Manzoor record ton.

Sindh put 277 for six in 50 overs as Khurram registered 27th List A century, most by a Pakistani batter, and remained unbeaten 143 off 163 balls (15 fours and one six).

For CP, pacers Ahmed Bashir and Mohammad Ali took two wickets each, spinner Zafar Gohar also took two wickets while conceding 37 runs.

Central Punjab had to chase to claim semi-final spot and they did it after batting 48.3 overs. Opener Tayyab Tahir top-scored with 93 off 102 balls, his innings included eight fours and two sixes.

Raza Ali Dar scored 71 off 72 balls with the help of one four and two sixes to provide valuable middle-order support during the Central Punjab chase.

Emerging all-rounder Qasim Akram smashed unbeaten 44 off 40 and took CP home with Zafar Gohar, who scored 28 off 13.

For Sindh, Left-arm-spinners Mohammad Asghar and Hassan Khan took two wickets each.

Read more: Khurram breaks Saeed’s record of most List A 100s by Pakistani batsman