Punjabs in race for Second XI National T20 title
A view of the match between Sindh and Southern Punjab. PCB
Southern Punjab outplayed Sindh by eight wickets to keep their Second XI National T20 Cup title hopes alive on the sixth day of the single-league competition at the Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.
In the afternoon match, Southern Punjab dismissed Sindh for 109 in 19.5 overs and then raced to victory for the loss of two wickets in 16.1 overs to record their third win in four matches. The comprehensive victory also helped Southern Punjab to improve their net run-rate (0.416), which can potentially decide the title-winner on the final day of the tournament on Thursday.
For Sindh, it was all but over as they have ended with three wins in five matches with a poor net run-rate of -0.140.
Central Punjab is the other side, which remains in the hunt for the title. Like Southern Punjab, Central Punjab has three wins in four matches with a net run-rate of 0.849. On Wednesday, Southern Punjab will play Balochistan, while in the only match on Thursday, Central Punjab will take on Northern.
If both the Punjab sides win their final league matches, they will end up with four wins in five matches with the net run-rate to decide the champion. Defending champions Northern are winless after three matches.
Sindh needed to, at least, win their final league match to remain in contention for the title but they faltered badly to be bowled out for 109 in 19.5 overs. Southern Punjab’s Zia-ul-Haq turned the tables on Sindh when he returned figures of 3.5-0-18-4, and received good support from Mohammad Irfan (two for 19) and Dilbar Hussain (two for 24).
For Sindh, Jahid Ali was the top scorer with 30, while captain Fawad Alam contributed 21.
In turn, Southern Punjab reached 110 for the loss of two wickets with Zain Abbas (55 not out, 47 balls, one six, eight fours) and Mukhtar Ahmed (44, 41 balls, one six, six fours) leading the way with a 99-run second wicket partnership.
Earlier in the morning fixture, Balochistan, put into bat, collected 152 for five in their allocated 20 overs. Opener Abdul Wahid Bangalzai carried the innings, scoring 90 off 55 balls with four sixes and 11 fours. Together with Ayaz Tasawar (27), Abdul Wahid added 68 runs for the fourth wicket after Balochistan had slipped to 23 for three.
In their target chase, Northern lost their way from 87 for two to finish at 133 for six in 20 overs despite a half-century by Nihal Mansoor (51, 48 balls, two sixes, four fours) and Shoaib Ahmed (25).
Balochistan beat Northern by 19 runs
Balochistan 152-5, 20 overs (Abdul Wahid Bangalzai 90, Ayaz Tasawar 27; Aamer Jamal 2-17, Salman Irshad 2-27)
Northern 133-6, 20 overs (Nihal Mansoor 51, Shoaib Ahmed 25; Jalat Khan 2-17, Taj Wali 2-21)
Southern Punjab beat Sindh by eight wickets
Sindh 109 all out, 19.5 overs (Jahid Ali 30, Fawad Ali 21; Zia-ul-Haq 4-18, Mohammad Irfan 2-19, Dilbar Hussain 2-24)
Southern Punjab 110-2, 16.1 overs (Zain Abbas 55 not out, Mukhtar Ahmed 44)