RAWALPINDI: Batting brilliance of Shahzaib Hassan of Karachi Blues led them pull off a nine runs victory over fighting Karachi Whites in the first match of the Cool & Cool Presents JAZZ National T20 Cup 2016 first round that blasted into action at Pindi Stadium on Thursday.
Eight teams are up against each other in this rapid-fire activity being played in two phases from August 25, 2016 to September 16, 2016 in Rawalpindi and Multan, respectively.
Shahzaib though was the only respectable batsman to score for Blues but that anchored the score to 158 for eight wickets and on his personal front he also won the player of the match award for his 50-ball 60 came with the help of six boundaries and a six. The Whites innings lasted till they reached 149 for eight in as many overs.
Khalid Latif provided support to Shahzaib with 17 runs while down the line-up Mohammad Sami and Bilawal Bhatti added valuable 15 and 21 runs respectively. Mir Hamza, Tabish Khan and Azam Hussain shared two wickets each with Sohail Khan and Akbur ur Rehman having bowled one each.
However, Whites’ nearly came close to the runrate required to achieve the score but Mohammad Sami, Bilawal Bhatti and Saeed Ajmal kept a tight lease to maintain an upper hand for the Blues.
After the end of Whites openers’ innings for just 13 runs, it were Rameez Raja and Akbarur Rehman who tried their utmost to stabilise the batting. Rameez went back at 19 and Akbar added 25 to the total. Later Mohammad Hasan, Tariq Haroon, Sohail Khan, Azam Hussain delayed the Blues win ride with 13, 28, 25 and 14 runs respectively with the latter staying unbeaten. Sohail though raised hope of win for Whites with his 14 balls innings hitting two sixes and a four but Blues over all remained in control. Sami with three wickets while Bilawal and Ajmal two each dented Whites’ pride and performance. However, Ajmal remained the most economical bowler of all Blue bowlers and with that win Blues also earned two points.