KARACHI: Only a few days after they had been doomed to make an early exit from the Nationwide T20 Cup, Southern Punjab gate-crashed into the ultimate by finishing a shock seven-wicket defeat of defending champions Northern in Rawalpindi on Saturday.
Towards the run of play, Northern — who had been the crew of the competitors after chalking up eight victories from 10 fixtures — made an unceremonious exit on the Pindi Cricket Stadium once they didn’t defend their complete of 160-5.
Southern Punjab — who had certified for the semi-finals in weird circumstances late on Friday night time by clinching the final obtainable spot — had been upstaged by Northern on the preliminary stage, shedding by 27 runs throughout the first leg recreation in Multan on Oct 1 after which happening by 5 runs within the return encounter in Rawalpindi final Sunday.
Shan Masood’s costs outplayed Northern, who had been led by common captain Imad Wasim, to arrange the title-decider on Sunday towards both Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or Sindh who had been engaged within the different semi-final on Saturday night time. The skipper led by instance as he anchored the chase by staying till the top to attain 79 with Southern Punjab reaching 161-Three in 18.Four overs.
Whereas Shan — named man-of-the-match after hanging six boundaries and two sixes throughout his 58-ball innings — Zeeshan Ashraf additionally made his presence felt emphatically by dominating the opening partnership of 91 in 62 balls. The wicket-keeper, who bats left-handed, crunched 4 sixes and as many boundaries in making a strong 55 off solely 32 deliveries towards a star-studded assault of Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Amir, Haris Rauf, Shadab Khan and Mohammad Musa Khan.
Earlier within the afternoon, Northern batting failed to come back off barring Ali Imran and Shadab, who contributed 98 of the 155 runs scored from the bat after Imad had gained the toss. Ali hit up a 35-ball 50 (4 fours and three sixes) earlier than turning into the primary of three wickets for leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood, who gave away 28 runs in his 4 overs.
Shadab scored an undefeated 48 along with his 27-ball knock containing 4 fours and three sixes however the all-rounder — having led Northern to 5 straight wins within the Multan leg when Imad was unavailable — was left to rue the dearth of main knocks from Zeeshan Malik (16), Haider Ali (18) and Asif Ali (first-ball duck) perished slightly rapidly.
However the speaking level of the whole event has been Friday’s night time final league-round recreation and the best way it concluded as Southern Punjab raced to 166-Three in an astonishing 10.Four overs — a ne run-rate of 15.57 — to bulldoze into the knockout spherical.
No matter how brilliantly Sohaib Maqsood, who was promoted to open the innings, blazed his method to a hurricane 81 from solely 29 deliveries, the spirit wherein this match penned out is being eyed with suspicion in numerous quarters, giving a stark impression that it doesn’t matter what Southern Punjab needed to qualify.
Balochistan, who simply had been required to win to make the last-four spherical, put up a dismal present all through the match. Their physique language was merely appalling to say the least each in all three departments.
Upfront after electing to bat first, Balochistan reached an insufficient 161-6 with Imam-ul-Haq (48 off 37 balls, three fours and two sixes), Bismillah Khan (41 off 35, two sixes and two fours) and skipper Haris Sohail 924 off 17, two sixes).
Former Pakistan seamer Umar Gul retired after a glittering profession however he had a forgetful night time as two overs went for 34 runs and though Amad Butt grabbed two wickets, his three overs price 51 runs.
Man-of-the-match Sohaib stood out for Southern Punjab because the discarded Pakistan batsman blasted 13 fours and 4 sixes, whereas Aamir Yamin bludgeoned 4 sixes and a 4 in scoring and unbeaten off simply 9 balls.
Scores in short:
Performed on Friday night time:
Southern Punjab beat Balochistan by seven wickets.
BALOCHISTAN 161-6 in 20 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 48, Bismillah Khan 41, Akbar-ur-Rehman 37 not out, Haris Sohail 24; Mohammad Imran 2-34); SOUTHERN PUNJAB 166-Three in 10.Four overs (Sohaib Maqsood 81, Aamir Yamin 33 not out, Zeeshan Ashraf 21; Amad Butt 2-51).
Remaining: Southern Punjab vs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Sindh (7:30pm).
Remaining league-round standings
(Tabulated beneath performed, gained, misplaced, factors, internet run-rate):
Northern 10 8 2 16 +0.895
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 10 5 5 10 +0.116
Sindh 10 5 5 10 -0.220
Southern Punjab 10 4 6 8 +0.166
Central Punjab 10 4 6 8 +0.046
Balochistan 10 4 6 8 -1.042
Printed in Daybreak, October 18th, 2020