RAWALPINDI – September 15, 2015: Peshawar pulled off a sensational victory against Karachi Blues to lift the Cool & Cool Present Haier Mobile T20 Cup 2015 at Rawalpindi Stadium on Tuesday night.
Chasing a mammoth total of Karachi, which made 177 runs for eight in 20 overs, Peshawar maintained the required run-rate throughout their entire innings and with that achieved the target with seven balls to spare, losing three wickets. It was the combination of Rafatullah Mohmand, Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan who brought the win for Peshawar.
Opting to field, Peshawar had everything work according to their planning. Though Karachi posted a big total but Peshawar responded with the requirement of time and maintained the average from the very first over. Rafat and Israrullah opened the innings for Peshawar and provided a base to the score with 48 runs by the fifth over. Rafat added 43 runs to the total while Israr could make nine runs. Rafat, however, smashed six fours and two sixes and faced 23 balls.
The work started by Rafat was maintained by Iftikhar while coming down at number three. As Iftikhar hit six fours and two fours in 40 balls to score 57 but Mohammad Rizwan proved more aggressive in his approach. After Musadiq Ahmed failed to provide support to Iftikhar, Rizwan did excellent work. He along with Iftikhar remained not out. Rizwan for his part made 58 runs in 34 balls hitting eight boundaries and a six.
So Rafat, Iftikhar and Rizwan showed promise and style to defend the T20 title for Peshawar. It’s skipper Zohaib, as planned restricted star-studded Karachi Blues to 177/8, who at one point looked to cross 200 runs. Anwar Ali, Shahid Afridi and Abdul Ameer struck once each in an otherwise dominating display from Peshawar.
Peshawar chased down the sizable total in 18.5 overs with 7 wickets in hand. Rizwan’s 56 of 33 and Ifrtikhar’s 57 0f 40 snatched the certain victory from Karachi.
Earlier, Karachi Blues set a huge target thanks to Sarfraz Ahmed’s aggressive inning. Pakistan T20 captain Shahid Afridi once again failed to click even when it mattered the most and produce a strong punch in the final. Opener Khuram Manzoor played an inning of use making 41 runs but on the other hand Shahzaib Hassan lost his wicket without scoring any run.
Khalid Latif also showed some resistance and scored 23 runs. Shahid Afridi put 15 runs on scoreboard. Sarfraz, however, with his 26 balls scored 47 runs produce an innings that everyone was looking for from other batsmen too. Imran Khan junior bowled brilliantly again with two wicket and remained the leading wicket taker of tournament.
Peshawar needing 179 runs snatched the match from Karachi Blues.
In between the innings break, renowned folk singer Arif Lohar doubled the joy for the crowd with his magical voice that echoed through the Rawalpindi Stadium.
Arif entertained the crowd with his famous songs ‘Jugni’ and ‘Lal meri’ and doubled the jubilation of National T20 tournament’s final.