Karachi: Opener Taimur’s Sultan century and Asif Ali’s brisk knock helped Northern to register their second win in the ongoing Pakistan Cup.
Northern recorded a comprehensive 154-run win over Central Punjab in a broadcast fixture at the State Bank Stadium on Sunday as they posted the second-highest score in the history of the tournament.
After put into bat first by CP’s captain Saad Nasim, Taimur and Ali posted a 165-run stand for the opening wicket.
Right-handed Taimoor played a series of attacking shots in his 94-ball 102-run innings that included 11 fours and three sixes.
In the middle-order, Asif and Hammad Azam charged the CP bowlers to take Northern’s total to 382/8.
Hammad contributed 45 off 30 balls while Asif hit seven fours and five sixes in his 76 off 41 balls. CP’s Ahmed Bashir finished with figures of four for 86 in his 10 overs.
CP kept losing wickets during the chase despite impressive fifties by Muhammad Akhlaq and captain Saad Nasim
Akhlaq made 55 off 51 balls with the help of seven fours, Saad’s 53 required 51 balls and included four fours and one six. Opener Tayyab Tahir made 47 off 54 balls (four fours, one six).
Central Punjab bowled out for 228 runs in 37.1 overs to hand a comfortable 154-run victory to Northern, their second in as many matches.
Hammad Azam took four wickets for 42 runs in eight overs, while Sohail Tanvir, Athar Mehmood and Salman Irshad took two wickets each. Taimoor Sultan was named Player-of-the-Match for his hundred.
In another match, Southern Punjab were wrapped up by Balochistan for 244 runs in 46.2 overs.
SP lost half of their side for just 91 but all-rounder Aamir Yamin played a rescue knock and scored 73 off 81 balls which included six fours and two sixes
Mukhtar Ahmed scored 45 off 43 balls with the help of eight fours and a six, while opener Zain Abbas contributed 30 runs.
For Balochistan, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Taj Wali, Kashif Bhatti and Gohar Faiz bagged two wickets each.
While chasing, Balochistan were reduced to 82 for five but captain Imran Farhat played a remarkable knock of 96 which included 11 fours. Kashif Bhatti contributed 33 while Umaid Asif made 30.
Balochistan lost their ninth-wicket at 230 and were helped over the line by the last wicket pair of Taj Wali (14 not out) and Raza-ul-Hasan (11 not out) who added 17 runs as the victory was achieved with five balls spare.
Leg-spinner Zahid Mehmood took four wickets, while Umer Khan and Muhammad Ilyas took two wickets apiece.
At NBP Sports Complex, Asif Afridi’s fifer led Sindh to only score 256 runs after they were put into bat by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain Khalid Usman.
Saud Shakeel led Sindh were teetering at 84/5 with only Asad Shafiq (42 off 63 balls) providing some resistance along with wicketkeeper-batsman Azam Khan, who made 37 off 36 balls (two fours, one six).
Sindh were rescued by a 92-run stand for the seventh-wicket between all-rounders Hassan Khan and Anwar Ali. Hassan top-scored for his side with 66 off 73 balls (three fours, one six).
Anwar smashed an aggressive knock of 42-ball 65, powered by four boundaries and three sixes. Asif bowled two maidens in his 10-over spell of left-arm spin, conceding 31 runs for his five wickets.
KP’s batters were disappointing and were bowled out for 193 runs courtesy of pacer Mohammad Umar who took wickets in regular intervals. He claimed 3/21 while left-arm-spin Muhammad Asghar picked two wickets for 33.
Sajid Khan and Kamran Ghulam were the lone warriors for KP, scoring 52 and 38 respectively. Anwar was awarded player of the match as he also claimed two wickets in Sindh’s 63-run win.