Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) beat Baluchistan by seven wickets while Sindh won against Central Punjab by three wickets after an exciting contest on the opening day of the National T20 Cup at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad on Sunday.
In the first match, KP outstandingly chased the target with seven wickets in hand. After being set to chase 141 runs, opener Fakhar Zaman provided them a positive start by scoring 45 runs off 36 balls.
Adil Amin (47*) and Mohammad Rizwan (30*) finished the job for KP as they kept putting pressure on the opponents without losing rhythm at some crucial stages.
Earlier, Imam-ul-Haq smashed 70 runs off 51 balls to help Baluchistan post 140 runs on the scoreboard in respective 20 overs. The left-handed opener struck three boundaries and four sixes during his stay at the crease and his fluent batting show had something worth watching for the scattered crowd in the stadium.
Awais Zia, Imam’s opening partner, contributed 31 runs while hitting three fours and two sixes. Mohammad Mohsin picked four wickets for KP and stolen the limelight with splendid figures.
In the second match, Sindh dominated the show as Kashif Bhatti and Anwar Ali took the responsibility when 11 runs needed off last over. Kashif struck a six on the second delivery of Saad Nasim’s match-deciding over while Anwar finished off in style with a boundary on second last ball.
While batting first, Central Punjab posted a mammoth total of 188 runs on the scoreboard with skipper Babar Azam adding yet another T20 century under his belt. Babar struck 102 runs off 59 balls with the help of seven boundaries and five maximums.
Umar Akmal scored 34 runs while Rizwan Hussain contributed 31 runs to the team’s total. Mohammad Husnain took two wickets for Sindh.
Sindh, in return, got a good start as their opener Khurram Manzoor completed his 22nd T20 fifty off 42 balls despite losing his partner Abid Ali earlier. Khurram’s inning includes five fours and two sixes.
Asad Shafiq played a handy knock of 45 runs off 23 deliveries to provide much-needed support to Sindh. Skipper Sarfraz made 30 runs while Anwar Ali contributed 22 off 10 balls.
Waqas Maqsood bagged three wickets while Faheem Ashraf and Usman Qadir took two wickets each for Central Punjab.
Northern Punjab will take on Northern and Sindh will play Baluchistan on day two of the tournament on Monday.