Northern maintain unbeaten run with victory over Central Punjab
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Defending champions Northern once again displayed their all-round depth in a comfortable 35-run win over Central Punjab in the seventh match of the National T20 Cup for First XIs on Saturday evening at the Multan Cricket Stadium.
Northern have attained maximum six points from their first three matches and are placed at the top of the six-team points table.
The impressive Northern bowling line-up defended a 155-run total by restricting Central Punjab to 120 in 18.1 overs as pacers Musa Khan and Haris Rauf led the way taking three wickets each conceding 23 and 26 runs respectively.
Veteran Sohail Tanvir (two for 15) and skipper Shadab Khan (two for 25) took two wickets apiece as they provided more than adequate support to the young fast bowling duo of Haris and Musa.
Central Punjab lost their way in the chase despite being placed at 90 for two in the 13th over, a stunning collapse saw them lose their last eight wickets for the addition of a mere 30 runs.
Opener Abid Ali (36 off 33 balls five fours) fought hard for his side but his dismissal to Musa triggered the Central Punjab collapse, Abdullah Shafiq contributed 20 runs. No other batsmen could offer much fight to the Northern attack.
For another all-round effort Shadab Khan was named man-of-the-match, he also won the award in the previous game against Southern Punjab.
Reflecting on his and his team’s performance Shadab Khan said: “I am very pleased with my team performance and also happy to contribute as an all-rounder. We made a great comeback once again after a tough start with the bat and even while bowling we bounced back from a difficult situation. The presence of Musa and Haris is a huge plus for us as their pace makes a real difference at any stage of the game. The reason for our success is our unity and fighting spirit, we never give-up in any situation and that has helped us win two tough games from difficult situations.”
Earlier, Central Punjab who opted to bowl first after winning the toss, restricted Northern to 155 for eight. Leg-spinner Usman Qadir was the pick of the CP bowlers taking three wickets for 28 runs in his four economical overs.
Captain Shadab Khan scored a quickfire 30 off 17 balls with the help of two sixes and two fours to lead his side’s recovery after they had limped to 40 for thee in the 10th over of their innings.
Young wicketkeeper batsman Rohail Nazir hit two sixes and a four in his unbeaten 21 off 8 balls to take his team past the 150-run mark. Asif Ali hit three sixes in his 24 off 11 balls. Umar Amin contributed 21 off 14 balls with the help of two sixes.
Northern: 155-8, 20 overs (Shadab Khan 30; Asif Ali 24, Rohail Nazir 21 not out; Usman Qadir 3-28)
Central Punjab: 120 all out, 18.1 overs (Abid Ali 36, Abdullah Shafiq 20; Musa Khan 3-23, Haris Rauf 3-26)
Result: Northern won by 35 runs
Player of the match: Shadab Khan (Northern)