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Shoaib Malik's brilliance earns Central Punjab crucial win

  • Photographs available here, please credit PCB, match scorecards available here
  • Urdu version of the release attached here

Rawalpindi, 2 October 2021: Shoaib Malik produced a stunning assault in the death overs of the Home City Central Punjab innings to spearhead his side’s 12-run win via the DLS method against GFS Sindh in the 16th match of the National T20 tournament played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi on Saturday night.

Set a 169-run target following Shoaib’s brilliant batting effort, Sindh stuttered to 110 for six in 14.4 overs when rain arrived for the second consecutive night. Sindh were 12 runs short of the par score at that stage of their innings, a ball before the rain interruption in a repeat of last night’s match, a wicket was lost.

Anwar Ali holed out to Wahab Riaz off Sameen Gul as Sindh searched for quick runs with the mounting asking rate.

Sindh openers Sharjeel Khan (36) and Khurram Manzoor (14) had provided the side a brisk 48-run opening stand. After Khurram’s dismissal, Sindh lost Shan Masood (12) to Wahab Riaz with the score at 76 in 7.2 overs.

From 76 to one, Sindh crashed to 110 for six, off-spinner Qasim Akram took three wickets for 20 runs in a match winning four-over spell. Sameen took two while Wahab took one wicket. This was Central Punjab’s third win in five games and their first ever against Sindh in the revamped six-team National T20 tournament which is in its third year.

Earlier, a sensational unbeaten 85 by Shoaib helped Central Punjab recover from 105 for six to a 168 for eight total. Central Punjab had lost wickets at regular intervals to stutter to a poor position before Shoaib rescued the side with an audacious batting display.

The seasoned Shoaib posted the 67th half-century of his T20 career and went into the top gear in the last two overs of the innings as Mohammad Hasnain conceded 22 and Rumman Raees gave away 14 runs off the 20th over.

The right-hander hit eight fours and five sixes in his 47-ball innings. Shoaib added 42 for the third-wicket with Ahmed Shehzad who contributed a run-a-ball 35 (three fours, one six). The two had come together after the early loss of captain Babar Azam (12) and Muhammad Akhlaq (7).

For Sindh, Rumman collected the second four-wicket haul of his T20 career. Leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed took three crucial wickets despite conceding 39 runs in his four overs.

Scores in Brief:

Home City Central Punjab beat GFS Sindh by 12 runs on DLS method.

Home City Central Punjab 168 for 8, 20 overs (Shoaib Malik 85 not out, Ahmed Shehzad 35; Rumman Raees 4-33, Abrar Ahmed 3-39)

GFS Sindh 110 for 6, 14.4 overs (Sharjeel Khan 36; Qasim Akram 3-20, Sameen Gul 2-15)

Player of the match:  Shoaib Malik

Sunday’s matches:

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Northern -3pm

ATF Southern Punjab vs Home City Central Punjab -7:30pm