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Northern record massive win in Pakistan Cup

Right-handed Taimoor played a series of attacking shots in his 94-ball 102-run innings that included 11 fours and three sixes

PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Opener Taimoor Sultan’s century helped Northern record a comprehensive 154-run win over Central Punjab in a broadcast fixture at the State Bank Stadium on Sunday.

In the other Pakistan Cup One-Day Tournament 2020-21 matches, Sindh overcame Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by 63 runs thanks to an all-round contribution from Anwar Ali at the NBP Sports Complex, while Imran Farhat’s 96 earned Balochistan a thrilling one-wicket win over Southern Punjab at UBL Sports Complex.

Northern v Central Punjab, State Bank Stadium, Karachi:

Central Punjab captain Saad Nasim won the toss and asked Northern to bat first. Northern openers – centurion Taimoor Sultan and Ali Imran – provided their team a flying start by adding 165 runs for the first-wicket.

Right-handed Taimoor played a series of attacking shots in his 94-ball 102-run innings that included 11 fours and three sixes. Central Punjab clawed back in the game as fast bowler Ahmed Bashir took three wickets in the 26th over, sending back Ali Imran (56 off 59 balls, five fours, one six), Taimoor and Mohammad Nawaz (0 off 1).

Asif Ali and Hammad Azam first consolidated before upping the scoring-rate.

Hammad contributed 45 off 30 balls. Asif accelerated the scoring-rate as he hit seven fours and five sixes in his 76 off 41 balls before falling to spinner Ahmed Safi Abdullah.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jamal Anwer then provided the final touches to Northern’s imposing batting effort with an unbeaten 36 off 22 balls. Despite some late hiccups, Northern amassed a mammoth 382 for the loss of eight wickets.

Ahmed Bashir finished with figures of four for 86 in his 10 overs. 

Central Punjab’s chase never got going as they kept losing wickets in the pursuit of quick runs. Wicketkeeper-batsman Muhammad Akhlaq and captain Saad Nasim followed up their centuries – in last match against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – with half-centuries in another losing cause.

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 folded 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.

Balochistan v Southern Punjab, UBL Sports Complex, Karachi:

Southern Punjab were bowled out for 244 runs in 46.2 overs after Imran Farhat, the Balochistan captain, elected to field after winning the toss.

Balochistan bowlers took the first five Southern Punjab wickets for a mere 91 runs. Mukhtar Ahmed, batting at number three, scored 45 off 43 balls with the help of eight fours and a six, while opener Zain Abbas contributed 30 runs.

Southern Punjab were rescued by Aamer Yamin who top-scored with 73 off 81 balls. The all-rounder hit six fours and two sixes in his innings.

Balochistan bowlers delivered a disciplined and probing bowling performance with Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Taj Wali, Kashif Bhatti and Gohar Faiz taking two wickets each.

Balochistan were reduced to 82 for five at one stage of their chase. Captain Imran Farhat led from the front and held the innings together as he added 59 runs for the sixth-wicket with Kashif Bhatti, who contributed 33.

Imran, later adjudged the player-of-the-match, then added 64 for the seventh-wicket with pacer Umaid Asif (3o off 29 balls, two fours, two sixes).

Imran was dismissed four runs shy of his century; his 96 off 107 balls included 11 fours.

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.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Sindh, NBP Sports Complex, Karachi:

Asif Afridi’s five-wicket haul was instrumental in dismissing Sindh for 256 runs after they were put into bat by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain Khalid Usman.

Sindh lost their first five wickets for 84 runs 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 used the long handle effectively scoring a brisk 65 off 42 balls (four fours, three sixes) as Sindh managed to get past the 250-run mark. Asif bowled two maidens in his 10-over spell of left-arm spin, conceding 31 runs for his five wickets.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were bowled out for 193 runs in reply to handover a comfortable 63 runs win to Sindh.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, at one stage, were reduced to 105 for seven as Sindh bowlers led by pacer Mohammad Umar (three for 21) made regular inroads. Sajid Khan, batting at number nine, scored 52 off 47 balls (five fours, three sixes). His efforts helped in narrowing the defeat margin.

Quaid-e-Azam Trophy’s top run-getter Kamran Ghulam was the only frontline Khyber Pakhtunkhwa batsman to make a decent contribution, the right-hander made 38 off 59 balls.

Umar was ably supported by left-arm-spin Muhammad Asghar who took two wickets for 33 runs in 8.2 overs while Anwar followed his batting heroics with two wickets for 38 runs in seven overs to earn the Player-of-the-Match award.

Scores in brief:

Northern beat Central Punjab by 154 runs at State Bank Stadium

Northern 382-8, 50 overs (Taimoor Sultan 102, Asif Ali 76, Ali Imran 56, Hammad Azam 45, Jamal Anwar 36 not out, Umar Amin 22; Ahmed Bashir 4-86)

Central Punjab 228 all out, 37.1 overs (Muhammad Akhlaq 55, Saad Nasim 53, Tayyab Tahir 47, Rizwan Hussain 29; Hammad Azam 4-42, Salman Irshad 2-31, Sohail Tanvir 2-39, Athar Mehmood 2-44)

Player-of-the-Match: Taimoor Sultan (Northern)

Balochistan beat Southern Punjab by one wicket at UBL Sports Complex

Southern Punjab 244 all out, 46.2 overs (Aamer Yamin 73, Mukhtar Ahmed 45, Zain Abbas 30; Abdul Wahid Bangalzai 2-22, Taj Wali 2-37, Kashif Bhatti 2-42, Gohair Faiz 2-45)

Balochistan 247-9, 49.1 overs (Imran Farhat 96, Bismillah Khan 48, Kashif Bhatti 33, Umaid Asif 30; Zahid Mehmood 4-46, Muhammad Ilyas 2-38, Umar Khan 2-50)

Player-of-the-Match: Imran Farhat (Balochistan)

Sindh beat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 63 runs at NBP Sports Complex

Sindh 256 all out, 50 overs (Hassan Khan 66, Anwar Ali 65, Asad Shafiq 42, Azam Khan 37; Asif Afridi 5-31)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 193 all out, 42.2 overs (Sajid Khan 52, Kamran Ghulam 38, Sahibzada Farhan 24; Mohammad Umar 3-21, Mohammad Asghar 2-33, Anwar Ali 2-38)

Player-of-the-Match: Anwar Ali (Sindh)