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Balochistan register 16-run win over Southern Punjab

  • The two teams meet again in Rawalpindi on 16 October
  • Action photos available here; scorecard available here
  • For further updates on the National T20 Cup, click here
  • Official hashtags are #HarHaalMainCricket and #NationalT20Cup
  • Urdu match report attached here

Multan, 4 October 2020: Balochistan recorded a 16-run win over the luckless Southern Punjab side to gain two valuable points in the ninth match of the National T20 Cup for First XIs on Sunday evening at the Multan Cricket Stadium.

Southern Punjab’s poor run continued in the tournament as the Shan Masood-led side crashed to their fourth consecutive defeat, they are languishing at the bottom of the six-team points table without a single point in their kitty. Balochistan on the other hand recorded their second win in three matches; they now have accumulated four points.

On Sunday, Shan fought hard with Khushdil Shah in a 103-run alliance for the third wicket in pursuit of the 231-run target. Left-armer Akif Javed accounted for both to settle the deal for Balochistan as the asking run-rate went beyond Southern Punjab batsmen; they finished on 214 for six in their 20 overs. Both left-handers (Shan and Khushdil) scored 72 runs each, Shan’s innings came off 42 balls and included three sixes and nine fours.

Khushdil’s 72 included four sixes and seven fours, he faced 34 balls. Sohaib Maqsood was the only other batsman to offer some resistance scoring 20 runs off 15 balls with the help of four fours.

Akif took three wickets for 35 runs to spearhead his side’s bowling attack. Umar Gul, Amad Butt and Kashif Bhatti took a wicket apiece.

Reflecting on his performance man-of-the-match Imam-ul-Haq said: “As openers we were losing wickets at the start in earlier games, it is my responsibility as an international player to score and perform. The pitch was a bit slow at the start but I decided to spend time on the pitch and that eventually helped me very well. We didn’t have a target in mind as such as we wanted to gauge the conditions, Haris and Bismillah helped me stay at the pitch, we then aimed for 180-190 runs but the late flourish in the innings helped us get past the 200-run mark.”

Balochistan won the toss and opted to bat first on a batting friendly pitch. They posted a mammoth total courtesy a blazing batting performance led by man-of-the-match Imam-ul-Haq and some sloppy bowling especially in the death overs by the Southern Punjab bowlers.

Imam scored a scintillating 94 off 54 balls, the left-handed opener hit four sixes and 10 fours in his stroke-filled innings.

Imam shared a dazzling 97 runs partnership in a mere 42 balls with his captain Haris Sohail as Southern Punjab bowlers lost the plot in the death overs. Haris smashed seven fours and two sixes in his 53 that came off 27 balls. 

Amad Butt provided the icing on the cake for Balochistan by scoring a whirlwind unbeaten 22 off 7 balls (two fours, two sixes) as 43 runs were conceded in the last two overs of the innings bowled by Hussain Talat (21 runs) and Bilawal Bhatti (22 runs) respectively.

At the start of the innings wicketkeeper batsman Bismillah Khan scored 39 off 23 in an 80-run second wicket partnership which laid the foundations of the eventual Balochistan total.

Scores in brief:

Balochistan 230-4, 20 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 94, Hairs Sohail 53, Bismillah Khan 39; Hussain Talat 1-35)

Southern Punjab 214-6, 20 overs (Khushdil Shah 72 , Shan Masood 72; Akif Javed 3-35)

Result – Balochistan won by 16 runs

Player of the match – Imam-ul-Haq (Balochistan)

Monday’s fixtures:

1500 PST – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Sindh. Faisal Afridi and Aftab Gilani (on-field umpires), Waleed Yaqub (third umpire), Zameer Haider (fourth umpire); Nadeem Arshad (match referee).

1930 PST - Balochistan v Central Punjab. Zameer Haider and Nasir Hussain Snr (on-field umpires), Faisal Afridi (third umpire), Qaiser Waheed (fourth umpire); Mohammad Anees (match referee)