The Hawks’ skipper Shahid Afridi, who was playing despite not being fully fit, bagged two crucial wickets
Rawalakot Hawks defeated the Muzaffarabad Tigers by seven runs to win the inaugural edition of the Kashmir Premier League.
Chasing a target of 170 runs, the Tigers were restricted to 162/9 in their allotted 20 overs.
The Tigers got off to a good start with captain Mohammad Hafeez (29 off 21) and Zeeshan Ashraf (46 off 26) stitching an opening stand of 54 runs.
However, after Hafeez’s departure, the Tigers kept on losing wickets at regular intervals which made the run-chase tricky.
The Hawks’ skipper Shahid Afridi, who was playing despite not being fully fit, bagged two crucial wickets, Ashraf and Sohaib Maqsood, in the middle overs to keep his side in the hunt.
Medium-pacer Hussain Talat also chipped in with three wickets to stem the flow of runs. His economical bowling spell, 3/18 in four overs, was instrumental in laying the platform for the side’s victory.
With the run-rate climbing, lower-order batsman Inzamamul Haq (12 off 5) and Mohammad Wasim Jnr (22 off 12) hit some lusty blows to keep the Tigers on track for victory.
However, the hero of the night turned out to be spinner Asif Afridi, who defended 10 runs in the final over, and took his team over the line. He finished with figures of 3/22 in four overs.
Batting first, the Hawks posted 169/7 in their allotted 20 overs largely due to middle-order batsman Kashif Ali’s brilliant 28-ball 54. His innings included five fours and three sixes. Kashif continued his rich vein of form after notching up a century in the second eliminator, yesterday.
Openers Bismillah Khan and Umar Amin scored 30 off 19 and 23 off 23, respectively. Meanwhile, Sahibzada Farhan chipped in with 28 runs off 21 balls.
For the Tigers, Hafeez and leg-spinner Usama Mir claimed two wickets each while conceding 26 and 25 runs, respectively.