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Mukhtar's century guides Southern Punjab to win

Lahore, 21 November 2021: Mukhtar Ahmed’s century led Southern Punjab to their first win in the ongoing Cricket Associations Challenge here on Sunday. Central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also recorded victories in their second round matches of the tournament.

At Saeed Ajmal Cricket Academy in Faisalabad, Balochistan managed to score 258 for five in 45 overs after being asked to bat by Southern Punjab. Left-handed batter Ali Waqas top-scored with a quick-fire 82-ball 92, hitting eight fours and three sixes. Fahad Iqbal was other notable run-getter with a 79-ball 67, smashing seven fours and one six. Both added 132 runs for the third-wicket.

In reply, Southern Punjab achieved the target in the 37th over with openers Mukhtar Ahmed and Zeeshan Ashraf providing a flying start to the innings. The opening pair knitted 206 runs. Zeeshan was unlucky to missed out on his hundred as he fell to leg-spinner Aftab Ahmed for 99. Zeeshan struck 11 fours and three sixes during 75 balls innings. Mukhtar top-scored with a 92-ball 103, hitting seven fours and as many sixes. Waqar Hussain coming to bat at number three returned undefeated on 45 off 39 balls. His innings included five fours and one six.

For Balochistan, leg-spinner Aftab bagged three wickets for 69.

An all-round performance from Fahad Munir guided Central Punjab to a 98-run win over Northern at the LCCA Ground in Lahore. Opting to bat, Central Punjab scored 272 for six in 45 overs. Mohammad Faizan top-scored with a 58-ball 47, hitting three fours and one six. Fahad coming to bat at number six scored 41 off 50 balls, smashing three fours and one six.

For Northern, right-arm fast Shadab Majeed bagged two wickets for 44.

In reply, Northern were bowled out for 174 in the 36th over. Aaqib Liaquat top-scored with 39 off 68 balls, which included three fours and one six.

Fahad with his off-spin was pick of the bowlers for Central Punjab as he took three wickets for 31. He was supported by Mohammad Irfan Jnr and Sohaibullah, both picking two wickets each.

At Rana Naved Cricket Academy in Sheikhupura, an all-round performance from Aamer Azmat led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Sindh.

Chasing 303 to win, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa opening pair Aamer and Junaid Afridi provided a solid 145-run start. Junaid struck 11 fours during his 85-ball 88 innings, while Aamer scored 87 off 75 balls faced. The right-handed batter Aamer innings included 10 fours and four sixes.

Fazal-ur-Rehman (48, 42b, five fours, two sixes), Saqib Jamil (39 not out, 30b, two fours, one six) and Mohammad Bilal (26 not out, 25b, two fours, one six) helped his side achieved the target in the 43rd over.

Earlier after being put into bat, Sindh scored 302 for five in 45 overs. Mohammad Taha top-scored with 91 off 95, hitting 10 fours and one six. He was supported by left-handed batter Faraz Ali who scored 65 off 70, laced with eight fours. The pair of Taha and Faraz knitted 141 runs for the third wicket.

For Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, right-arm fast Aamer picked two wickets for 37.

Scores in brief:

Southern Punjab beat Balochistan by six wickets at Saeed Ajmal Academy, Faisalabad

Balochistan 258-5, 45 overs (Ali Waqas 92, Fahad Iqbal 67)

Southern Punjab 260-4, 36.5 overs (Mukhtar Ahmed 103, Zeeshan Ashraf 99, Waqar Hussain 45 not out; Aftab Ahmed 3-69)

Central Punjab beat Northern by 98 runs at LCCA Ground, Lahore

Central Punjab 272-6, 45 overs (Mohammad Faizan 47, Fahad Munir 41, Rizwan Hussain 33, Kamran Afzal 32 not out; Shadab Majeed 2-44)

Northern 174 all out, 35.3 overs (Aaqib Liaquat 39, Nasir Nawaz 33, Ali Sarfaraz 26; Fahad Munir 3-31, Sohaibullah 2-21, Mohammad Irfan Jnr 2-43)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa beat Sindh by seven wickets at Rana Naved Cricket Academy, Sheikhupura

Sindh 302-5, 45 overs (Mohammad Taha 91, Faraz Ali 65, Saifullah Bangash 42 not out, Danish Aziz 36 not out; Aamer Azmat 2-37)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 305-3, 42.4 overs (Junaid Afridi 88, Aamer Azmat 87, Fazal-ur-Rehman 39 not out; Mohammad Ali Khan 2-67)