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Fakhar Zaman's blazing 68 downs Southern Punjab by 73 runs

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  • Urdu version of the media release attached here

Rawalpindi, 12 October 2020: A blazing 34-ball 68 from Fakhar Zaman orchestrated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s fifth win of the National T20 Cup as they recorded a comprehensive 73-run win over Southern Punjab at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Monday.

The left-handed opener stroked his third half-century of the tournament before Musadiq Ahmed blasted 33 runs from nine balls to lift Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to an imposing 205 for four.

Following Shan Masood’s decision to bowl first, Fakhar provided Khyber Pakhtunkhwa a solid start. The 30-year-old smashed as many as 11 fours and two sixes over the course of an innings during which he put a 71-run partnership for the second wicket with Mohammad Hafeez, who made 17 runs from 20 balls.

Fakhar set Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s innings alight in the fifth over, which yielded 19 runs, by smashing Ali Shafiq for three fours and a six.

Reflecting on his innings, Fakhar said: “As a batsman you wish to score in every match but I am glad that I have picked form at the right time. I am enjoying my run in the tournament. The pitches in Rawalpindi are providing quality contests.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were well positioned at 99 for one when Fakhar was caught by Hussain Talat off Mohammad Ilyas ball on the penultimate ball of the 10th over. Hafeez followed him back two balls later, which plummeted Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s scoring rate as the next 3.5 overs added only 24 runs to their total.

Iftikhar Ahmed struck four sixes in his 22-ball 36 before getting dismissed on the second ball of the 18th over by Ilyas, who finished with 43 for two.

Musadiq, who replaced Iftikhar, raced to 20 runs from the next four deliveries as he smashed six, six, four and four. That over brought 21 runs – the most in the innings for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  The 31-year-old hit a six and a four more before returning not out on 33.

He partnered with Shoaib Malik (33 not out off 28, one four) for 43 runs from 16 balls and that the veteran all-rounder contributed only eight of them underscores how Musadiq dominated the proceedings.

Aamer Yamin was the other bowler to take two wickets. The right-arm quick returned two for 36.

Southern Punjab’s abysmal run in the tournament continued as they were bowled out for 132 in 19.3 overs. Shan (0 off three) was the first wicket to fall as he was dismissed by Shaheen Shah Afridi - the highest wicket taker of the tournament with 15 scalps at 7.04 from six matches to date – on the third ball.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Zeeshan Ashraf was out in the fourth over after making 10 off 11, which reduced Southern Punjab to 21 for two. A 40-run stand for the third wicket between Zain Abbas (34 off 21, three fours and two sixes) and Sohaib Maqsood (17 off 16, three fours) gave a glimpse of hope to Southern Punjab fans.

However, the dismissal of Sohaib on the last ball of the eighth over sparked a collapse that saw Southern Punjab slip from 61 for three to 78 for seven.

Batting at eight, Mohammad Imran made a quickfire 48, which only went on to reduce the margin of defeat. Imran, over the course of his 28-ball stay at the crease, struck six fours and two sixes.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Junaid Khan, the left-arm pacer, took two wickets for 31 runs.

Scores in brief:

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa beat Southern Punjab by 73 runs

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 205-4, 20 overs (Fakhar Zaman 68, Iftikhar Ahmed 36, Shoaib Malik 33 not out, Musadiq Ahmed 33 not out; Aamer Yamin 2-36, Mohammad Ilyas 2-43)

Southern Punjab 132 all out, 19.3 overs (Mohammad Imran 48, Zain Abbas 34; Junaid Khan 2-31)

Tuesday’s fixtures

1500 PST - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Sindh. Imran Jawed and Rashid Riaz (on-field umpires), Ahsan Raza (third umpire), Saqib Khan (fourth umpire); Mohammad Javed (match referee)

1930 PST - Central Punjab v Southern Punjab. Asif Yaqoob and Imtiaz Iqbal (on-field umpires), Ghaffar Kazmi (third umpire), Shozab Raza (fourth umpire); Ali Naqvi (match referee)