Khyber Pakhtunkhwa seal six-run win in last over thriller
M Hafeez named man of the match for his all round performance. PCB
Sohaib Maqsood’s 40-ball 77 went in vain as Southern Punjab fell six runs short of the 201-run target against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the eighth fixture of the National T20 Cup First XI tournament on Saturday evening at Multan Cricket Stadium.
The 33-year-old stitched a 24-run stand with Umar Siddiq (16 off 12) and followed it up with a remarkable partnership of 78 with Hussain Talat, who scored 38 runs from 22 balls and hit six boundaries, after arriving at the crease in the third over with the scorecard reading 23 for two.
Left-arm pacer Junaid Khan ended both stands and accounted for Bilawal Bhatti in the penultimate over to finish with three for 26 in four overs.
Junaid said: “You enjoy your performance only when your team wins the match. I am delighted that I was able to contribute in my team’s win. I could not play the last match so I came into this match with pressure to perform, as due to tough competition for spots in the team you have to perform to cement your position.”
Southern Punjab remained favourites to win the contest with Sohaib at the crease. A mix-up between Sohaib and Khushdil Shah (five off nine) on the first ball of the 16th over promised to shift the momentum in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s favour, but Sohaib dispatched the next three deliveries from Shaheen Afridi to boundary to ensure the match remained in his team’s control.
He holed out to deep extra cover fielder in the next over from where Khyber Pakhtunkhwa snatched a win. Southern Punjab required 22 off the last over. Mohammad Hafeez conceded 15 runs to take his team over the line.
Hafeez’s match-winning over followed a blazing 35-ball 67 which set the platform for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to post 200 for five. For his all-round contribution, he was named man-of-the-match.
Hafeez smashed five fours and five sixes and stitched a 100-run partnership with his captain Mohammad Rizwan, who registered what was his second half-century on trot. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain smashed six fours and two sixes in his 39-ball 55.
But that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were able to post a daunting total was due to Iftikhar Ahmed, who smashed 45 not out at a strike rate of 225. The right-handed batsman struck three fours and three sixes.
Rahat Ali, playing his first match of the tournament, and Hussain Talat took two wickets each for Southern Punjab.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Southern Punjab meet again on 12 October at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi.
Scores in brief:
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 200-5, 20 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 67, Mohammad Rizwan 55, Iftikhar Ahmed 45 not out; Rahat Ali 2-37, Hussain Talat 2-38)
Southern Punjab: 194-8, 20 overs (Sohaib Maqsood 77, Hussain Talat 38, Saif Badar 22 not out; Junaid Khan 3-26)
Result: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa won by six runs