Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Iftikhar Ahmed scored a century
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Iftikhar Ahmed scored a century while Adil Amin made an unbeaten 93 as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa scored a five-wicket win over Northern in the sixth-round match of the Pakistan Cup powered by Servis Tyres – One-Day Tournament 2020-21 at the State Bank Stadium on Monday.
In other matches, Sindh scored a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Balochistan at the UBL Sports Complex while Central Punjab won the Punjab derby against Southern Punjab by five wickets at the NBP Sports Complex.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Northern – State Bank Stadium, Karachi:
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa won the toss and opted to field first. Northern openers Haider Ali and Zeeshan Malik added 82 runs for the first-wicket. Zeeshan was the first man dismissed after contributing 18 runs. Haider played some attacking shots in his 95-run innings that was compiled off 87 balls (nine fours, three sixes).
Haider added 56 runs for the second-wicket with Umar Amin before his dismissal five runs short of his century. The left-handed Umar scored 67 off 85 balls (two fours, two sixes). Umar added 112 runs for the third-wicket with Rohail Nazir 68 off 50 balls (four fours, three sixes).
All-rounder Hammad Azam scored 36 off 20 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes; the last three Northern batsmen fell for duck in chase of quick runs as the innings folded with four balls to spare at 324 (49.2 overs). Pacers Irfanullah Shah and Mohammad Imran took four wickets and three wickets respectively. Mohammad Waseem Jnr also took three wickets, conceding 70 runs in his 10 overs.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chased down the total in 48.2 overs with middle-order batsman Adil Amin taking the team past the target in company of captain Khalid Usman (27 not out off 13 balls). The foundation of the chase was laid by Iftikhar Ahmed (player-of-the-match) who scored a scintillating 123 off 110 balls (12 fours, three sixes).
Iftikhar took the attack to the Northern bowlers and played some delightful shots all around the ground as he posted the ninth List A century of his career.
Adil faced 78 balls in his unbeaten 93; the innings included five fours and four sixes. Fakhar Zaman chipped in with 42 runs off 40 balls. Athar Mehmood took three wickets for Northern. This was Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s fourth win of the tournament; they now have a tally of eight points. Northern have six points from six games.
Balochistan vs Sindh, UBL Sports Complex, Karachi:
Sindh won the toss and opted to field first, the bowlers once again backed captain Anwar Ali’s decision as Balochistan were rolled over for a paltry 116 in 25.3 overs.
Spinner Hassan Khan (player-of-the-match), who has been making vital all-round contribution in the tournament for Sindh, took four wickets for 15 runs while left-arm pacer Mir Hamza took two for 36 in six overs.
None of the Balochistan batsmen could thwart the Sindh attack other than captain Imran Farhat who made 32 off 62 balls with the help of five fours. Ayaz Tasawar was the only other batsman to cross the 20-run mark, the left-hander made 21 off 23 balls with the help of three sixes.
Sindh survived a minor scare in the chase as Balochistan’s left-arm pacer Taj Wali took the first three wickets with only 23 runs on the board. Taj dismissed Sharjeel Khan (0), Saad Ali (4), Asad Shafiq (5) in his opening spell.
Opener Khurram Manzoor held the innings together and took Sindh to the target in 19.5 overs in the company of Danish Aziz in an unbroken 95-run fourth-wicket stand.
Khurram faced 51 balls in his unbeaten 56 which included six fours and one six. Danish hit six fours and one six in his unbeaten 46 off 54 balls.
Sindh have now won four out of their six matches and are on track for a place in the tournament semi-finals.
Central Punjab vs Southern Punjab, NBP Sports Complex, Karachi:
Central Punjab won the toss and opted to field first. Southern Punjab openers Mukhtar Ahmed (player-of-the-match) and Shan Masood added 133 runs for the first-wicket. Shan was dismissed for 49 off 73 balls (five fours).
After the loss of Shan, Southern Punjab’s batting collapsed as they were sent packing for 232 runs in 45.2 overs.
Shoaib Maqsood, who along with Mukhtar and Hussain Talat scored centuries in the previous match, was dismissed for 24 off 25 balls. Mukhtar was at his attacking best in his stroke-filled 94 off 98 balls (nine fours, three sixes) before falling six runs short of his third century of the tournament.
Central Punjab’s bowling effort was led by left-arm-spinners Zafar Gohar and Raza Ali Dar as both took three wickets each. Leg-spinner Usman Qadir took two wickets.
Central Punjab chased down the target for the loss of five wickets in 45 overs. Usman Salahuddin top-scored with an unbeaten 67 off 89 balls with the help of four fours to spearhead the chase.
Tayyab Tahir who had scored a match winning century for Central Punjab earlier in the tournament scored 60 off 69 balls (eight fours). Saad Nasim contributed 42 off as many balls (six fours). Usman, who played the anchor’s role to perfection, finished the game in young all-rounder Qasim Akram’s company who remained undefeated on 22 off 17 balls.
Zahid Mahmood took two wickets for Southern Punjab. Central Punjab have now won three consecutive games gathering six points after a poor start to the tournament which saw them lose their first three matches.
Scores in brief:
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa beat Northern by five wickets at the State Bank Stadium
Northern 324 all out, 49.2 overs (Haider Ali 95, Rohail Nazir 68, Umar Amin 67; Irfanullah Shah 4-68, Mohammad Imran 3-64, Mohammad Waseem Jnr 3-70)
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 327-5, 48.2 overs (Iftikhar Ahmed 123, Adil Amin 93 not out, Fakhar Zaman 42; Athar Mehmoood 3-76)
Player-of-the-Match: Iftikhar Ahmed
Sindh beat Balochistan by seven wickets at the UBL Sports Complex
Balochistan 116 all out, 25.3 overs (Imran Farhat 32, Ayaz Tasawar 21; Hassan Khan 4-15, Mir Hamza 2-36)
Sindh 118-3, 19.5 overs (Khurram Manzoor 56 not out, Danish Aziz 46 not out; Taj Wali 3-35)
Player-of-the-Match: Hassan Khan
Central Punjab beat Southern Punjab by five wickets at the NBP Sports Complex
Southern Punjab 232 all out, 45.2 overs (Mukhtar Ahmed 94, Shan Masood 49; Raza Ali Dar 3-37, Zafar Gohar 3-65)
Central Punjab 235-5, 45 overs (Usman Salahuddin 67 not out, Tayyab Tahir 60, Saad Nasim 42; Zahid Mahmood 2-52)
Player-of-the-Match: Mukhtar Ahmed
20 January fixtures:
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Sindh – State Bank Stadium; Northern vs Central Punjab –UBL Sports Complex; Balochistan vs Southern Punjab –NBP Sports Complex.