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Match Report: Nawaz helps Karachi Blues clinch National T20 2016 title

MULTAN: Karachi Blues survived a scare from sister team Karachi Whites openers to sneak away with the Cool and Cool Presents Jazz National T20 Cup 2016 title here at the Multan Stadium on Friday night.

Having lost their openers Shahzaib Hassan and Khalid Latif early on, Karachi Blues inning was revived by Khurrum Manzoor and Fawad Alam that steered their total to 182. Whites in turn could manage 179 for eight in the given timeframe.

Whites got a rapid-fire start that threatened Blues with the match. But their bowler Mohammad Nawaz not only took four wickets but also successfully defended 10 runs of the last over to get Blues a nail-biting three runs win.

Though both the teams were from Karachi but the match remained tense for all of the period as both the teams did not budge an inch to give away their struggle for win.

As Whites openers provided 61 runs first wicket stand, their down the order batsmen Tariq Haroon and Sohail Khan nearly pulled off the match away had Nawaz not contained them within the limits to get the title for Blues.

Whites required 11 runs in the last over with four wickets in hand. Mohammad Hasan started the play with a reverse-sweep on Nawaz's first ball for four. Nawaz came back with a dot and then an arm-ball that took Hasan's middle stump. Azam Hussain sliced a couple over the covers before falling lbw off the next ball. After five balls were gone, Mir Hamza hurled the last ball away only to manage a double.

Nawaz, playing only his second game of the tournament, finished with figures of 4 for 26. His efforts also included the opening partnership breaking wicket and the one down batsman.

He bowled Asif Zakir for 32, and in his next over removed danger man Asad Shafiq for 6. From there on Whites had their back ducked to the wall till Tariq and Sohail played their part.

His attack mates - Saeed Ajmal, capped in with two wickets while Mohammad Asghar too had two.

Tottering at five for 128, Karachi Whites eventually got to 179 for 8 all due to the late heroics of Tariq and Sohail. Haroon hit 38 off 17 balls, while Sohail 24 off 11 balls. It was then Nawaz played his part to get Blues their first T20 title.

In fact it was the 112 runs stand between Khurram and Fawad that led the tempo of Blues confidence which was further given boost by Nawaz.

After having lost their two wickets for 28, Khurrum and Fawad acted as a innings reviver. Khurrum five fours and three sixes to reach 70 runs in 42 balls. From the other end, Fawad too maintained the throttle hitting five fours and two sixes to get to 67 in 44 balls and also remained not out.

He was supported by Mohammad Sami's unbeaten 20 off 10 balls. Blues pulled 64 off the last five overs, and that were enough to keep Whites at bay.

Man of the final went to Mohammad Nawaz of J.Junaid Jamshed Karachi Blues. Most number of Sixes award was won by Tariq Haroon of Dany Tech Karachi Whites, Most number of Fours: Khurram Manzoor, Fawad Alam and Zain Abbas, Best Bowler of the Tournament was Saeed Ajmal, Karachi Blues, Most number of Wickets prize also went to Mohammad Nawaz while Best Batsman of the Tournament was Umar Akmal of Audionic Lahore Whites, Most Number of Catches were taken by Saifullah Bangash of Karachi Blues  and the Best All-Rounder of the Tournament was Kamran Akmal of Lahore Whites.