National T20 Cup: Manzoor inspires Sindh to victory against Southern Punjab

Opener scored 84 runs from 49 deliveries, including 10 boundaries and three sixes

National T20 Cup: Manzoor inspires Sindh to victory against Southern Punjab PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Khurram Manzoor played a splendid knock of 84 runs and led Sindh to their first victory of the National T20 Cup as they beat Southern Punjab by five wickets after a hard fought battle which lasted till the last over.

Chasing a total of 175 runs set by Southern Punjab, Sindh lost both their openers cheaply as Shan Masood was dismissed by Mohammad Ilyas for 10 runs while Sharjeel Khan (10) also departed without making much of an impact.

However, Khurram Manzoor stepped in and played a masterful innings of 84 runs from 49 deliveries, which featured 10 boundaries and three sixes. He was eventually run-out at a crucial moment in the 17th over which left Sindh with a daunting task of scoring 36 runs from 18 balls for the victory.

The weight of the world rested on the shoulders of Anwar Ali and Danish Aziz as Sarfaraz Ahmed (15) and Hasan Mohsin (7) had already returned to the pavilion after adding just 22 runs to the total.

Sindh's celebrations could have been halted had Shoaib Maqsood held on to Anwar Ali's catch in the 18th over. Ali eventually managed to score 29 runs from just nine deliveries (three fours, two sixes) as Danish Aziz sent the ball to the boundary for winning runs with four balls to spare.

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Although Sindh put up a great display with the bat, Southern Punjab's bowling remained questionable; Mohammad Imran conceded 32 runs in just 2.2 overs while Mohammad Ilyas went for 44 runs from his four overs. 

Earlier, Southern Punjab started their innings strongly as the opening pair of Zain Abbas (25 from 20 balls) and Zeeshan Ashraf (34 from 20 balls) put up a 59-run parternship, which was eventually broken by Mohammad Hasnain.

Shoaib Maqsood, Khushdil Shah, and Azam Khan all got good starts but failed to capatilse on their advantage provided by the opening pair. Aamer Yamin came in handy lower down the order and played a quickfire innings of 43 from only 26 deliveries which led their total to 175/7 after 20 overs.

For Sindh, Mohammad Hasnain took two wickets while Anwar Ali, Shahnawaz Dhani, Rumman Raees, and Zahid Mahmood all took a wicket each.