Batsmen dominate in fifth round of Pakistan Cup

Sindh opener Sharjeel Khan hit a blazing hundred in his side’s win over Northern

Batsmen dominate in fifth round of Pakistan Cup PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Sindh opener Sharjeel Khan hit a blazing hundred in his side’s win over Northern while the trio of Sohaib Maqsood, Mukhtar Ahmed and Hussain Talat posted match winning centuries for Southern Punjab against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the fifth-round matches of the Pakistan Cup powered by Servis Tyres – One-Day Tournament 2020-21 matches in Karachi on Saturday. 

This was the first-ever instance of three centuries in a single innings of a List A match in Pakistan as Mukhtar, Sohaib and Hussain ensured a comfortable 317-run chase for Southern Punjab at the UBL Sports Complex.

Northern vs Sindh – State Bank Stadium, Karachi:

Sindh won the toss and opted to bowl first, the Sindh bowling attack justified captain Anwar Ali’s decision as Northern were dismantled for a paltry 186 in 44.2 overs. Asif Ali top-scored for Northern with 66 off 60 balls, his innings included nine fours and two sixes.

All-rounder Sohail Tanvir made a useful contribution in the lower-order, the left-hander hit four fours and three sixes in his 49-run innings off 52 balls. Hammad Azam with 22 runs was the only other Northern batsman to make a decent contribution. For Sindh pacer Mir Hamza and left-arm-spinner Danish Aziz took three wickets each.

Sharjeel Khan (player-of-the-match) smashed his way to a brilliant 108 off 74 balls as Sindh made light work of the chase. The left-handed opener posted the eight century of his List A career, striking 13 fours and five sixes against the hapless Northern bowlers. 

Sharjeel added 160 runs for the first-wicket with Khurram Manzoor who scored 52 off 59 balls with the help of five fours. Sindh lost three quick wickets after the opening stand but the openers had done enough to ensure there were no serious hiccups as the chase was completed in 28.1 overs.

Sindh now have six points with three wins and two defeats. Northern have also gathered six points with three wins and two defeats.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Southern Punjab, UBL Sports Complex, Karachi:

Southern Punjab won the toss and asked Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to bat first. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were reduced to 141 for six at one stage of their innings as Israrullah, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed and Adil Ahmed failed to make most of their starts, the quartet fell in the 30s.

Skipper Khalid Usman continued his good form with the bat as he resurrected the innings with a hard-hitting unbeaten 91 off 74 balls. Khalid hit six sixes and five fours to turnaround the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa batting performance.

Khalid added 119 runs for the seventh-wicket with young wicketkeeper batsman Mohammad Harris who contributed 68 off 64 balls (eight fours, one six). Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finished their 50 overs at 316 for nine. Pacer Ali Shafiq took three while all-rounder Muhammad Imran took two wickets for Southern Punjab.

In reply, Southern Punjab batsmen stunned Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with an audacious batting display that saw them hunt down the total in a mere 40.3 overs with opener Mukhtar Ahmed, Sohaib Maqsood and captain Hussain Talat all scoring brisk hundreds.

The trio created history, as three centuries in a single innings were registered for the first time in a List A match played in Pakistan.

Mukhtar who was named player-of-the-match remained undefeated 108 off 109 balls (11 fours, three sixes), this was his second century of the tournament.

Sohaib was at his belligerent best as the right-hander hit 11 fours and as many as seven sixes in his 101 off 58 balls. He added 160 runs for the second-wicket with Mukhtar.

After Sohaib’s departure, Hussain scored 100 not out off 64 balls (five fours, seven sixes) in an unbroken 146-run alliance with Mukhtar as Southern Punjab’s overwhelming victory was completed with as many as 57 balls to spare.

This was Southern Punjab’s second win in five matches, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the other hand have now won three and lost two matches.

Balochistan vs Central Punjab, NBP Sports Complex, Karachi:

Usman Qadir’s four-wicket haul helped Central Punjab bundle out Balochistan for 213 runs in 48 overs. The leg-spinner who was making his first appearance in the tournament returned figures of 10-3-41-4. Left-arm-spinner Kamran Afzal and pacer Ahmed Bashir took two wickets each for Central Punjab.

All-rounder Kashif Bhatti and spinner Jalat Khan rescued Balochistan with a 104-run ninth-wicket stand after they had crashed to 101 for eight. Kashif hit eight fours and a six in his 59-run knock that came off 83 balls.

Jalat played some attacking shots as he and Kashif counterattacked the Central Punjab bowlers in their century plus stand, Jalat’s 55 included two fours and four sixes, he faced 58 balls.

Promising all-rounder Qasim Akram (player-of-the-match) followed his one for 38 spell of off-spin bowling by scoring an unbeaten 60 off 72 balls (seven fours) as Central Punjab crossed the line after a slight wobble in their 214-run chase.

Central Punjab at one stage were 152 for five and then lost their sixth-wicket at 189 but Qasim remained composed at the other end as he took his side to victory in 46 overs. Opener Tayyab Tahir contributed 47 off 50 balls (four fours, two sixes) while Rizwan Hussain scored 31 off 18 balls. Central Punjab were 98 for one before the middle-order stutter.

Raza-ul-Hasan took four wickets for Balochistan but his efforts went in vain, Jalat followed his half-century with a two wickets with the ball.

This was Central Punjab’s second consecutive win of the tournament after they had lost their first three matches, Balochistan have now won two and lost three matches.

Scores in brief:

Sindh beat Northern by seven wickets at the State Bank Stadium

Northern 186 all out, 44.2 overs (Asif Ali 66, Sohail Tanvir 49; Danish Aziz 3-23, Mir Hamza 3-36)

Sindh 187-3, 28.1 overs (Sharjeel Khan 108, Khurram Manzoor 52; Hammad Azam 2-21)

Player-of-the-Match: Sharjeel Khan

Southern Punjab beat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by eight wickets at the UBL Sports Complex

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 316-9, 50 overs (Khalid Usman 91 not out, Mohammad Haris 68; Ali Shafiq 3-46, Muhammad Imran 2-82)

Southern Punjab 319-2, 40.3 overs (Mukhtar Ahmed 108 not out, Sohaib Maqsood 101, Hussain Talat 100 not out; Imran Khan Sr 1-56)

Player-of-the-Match: Mukhtar Ahmed

Central Punjab beat Balochistan by four wickets at the NBP Sports Complex

Balochistan 213 all out, 48 overs (Kashif Bhatti 59, Jalat Khan 55; Usman Qadir 4-41, Kamran Afzal 2-35)

Central Punjab 214-6, 46 overs (Qasim Akram 60 not out, Tayyab Tahir 47; Raza-ul-Hasan 4-36, Jalat Khan 2-42)

Player-of-the-Match: Qasim Akram

18 January fixtures:

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Northern – State Bank Stadium; Balochistan vs Sindh –UBL Sports Complex; Central Punjab vs Southern Punjab –NBP Sports Complex.