Haris Sohail’s century keeps Balochistan alive in Pakistan Cup
Captain Haris Sohail scored an unbeaten 109 to lead Balochistan to a six-wicket win over Central Punjab in the eighth-round match of the Pakistan Cup powered by Servis Tyres – One-Day Tournament 2020-21 at the State Bank Stadium on Friday.
The victory has kept alive Balochistan’s hopes of a semi-final berth as they now have six points from eight games, they still need to win both their remaining matches and improve their net run-rate for a possible shot at the semi-finals.
In other matches, Khurram Manzoor’s century and Danish Aziz’s four wickets confirmed table-toppers Sindh’s semi-final berth, courtesy a 13-run win over Northern.
Southern Punjab are also well and truly in the run for a semi-final spot after beating Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by five wickets on the back of match wining contributions by captain Shan Masood and pacer Mohammad Abbas.
Balochistan vs Central Punjab – State Bank Stadium:
Young all-rounder Qasim Akram posted the maiden List A century of his career as Central Punjab fought back from 124 for five to post a 296 for eight score against Balochistan.
Qasim added 131 runs for the sixth-wicket with all-rounder Zafar Gohar who contributed 48 off 61 balls (four fours, one six). Opener Tayyab Tahir (42) was the other significant contributor. The two ensured a competitive score for their side with their unfazed approach despite the loss of early wickets.
Qasim hit 14 fours and one six in his unbeaten 108 off 81 balls, the 18-year-old made his debut in the ongoing tournament; this was his eight List A appearance.
Opener Bismillah Khan gave Balochistan a rapid start scoring 73 off 60 balls (seven fours, one six) as he laid the platform for the chase. Bismillah added 75 runs for the first-wicket with Abdul Wahid Bangalzai (11). After Bismillah’s departure, Haris joined hands with Akbar-ur-Rehman in a 110-run partnership for the fourth-wicket, Akbar fell for 38.
Haris kept the asking rate in control as he guided his side to victory in the final over, he completed his century two balls before finishing off the game. The left-hander finished unbeaten on 109 off 99 balls, he hit five fours and as many sixes in his innings.
The defeat has broken Central Punjab’s winning run of four matches. They now have eight points in as many games with four wins and four defeats and are placed at the fourth spot in the table.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Southern Punjab –UBL Sports Complex:
Southern Punjab won the toss and opted to bowl first, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were reduced to 74 for four at one stage with pacer Mohammad Abbas making early inroads. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were revived by a 76-run fifth-wicket partnership between Mohammad Haris and Adil Amin (39). The young wicketkeeper-batsman Haris scored 54 off 58 balls (eight fours, one six).
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain Khalid Usman made another handy lower-order contribution by top-scoring for his side with a 56-run innings. The right-hander hit seven fours and two sixes in his 50-ball innings.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were bowled out for 244 in 45.5 overs, Abbas finished with figures of 9.5-0-40-4 Leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood bowled a tidy spell taking two wickets for 28 runs in his 10 overs.
Skipper Shan Masood led from the front in Southern Punjab’s chase as the left-hander scored 91 off 112 balls (nine fours) to anchor his team’s chase. Shan added 73 runs for the first-wicket with Mukhtar Ahmed (36).
Left-hander Khushdil Shah then closed out the game in Southern Punjab’s favour with a run-a-ball 71; his innings was laced with six fours and two sixes.
Southern Punjab completed the chase with 10 balls to spare for the loss of five wickets. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are now placed at number three in the points table a place below Southern Punjab, both teams have eight points.
Northern vs Sindh –NBP Sports Complex:
Khurram Manzoor’s 26th List A century –second of the tournament, took Sindh to a 277 for six total in 50 overs. Appearing in his 153rd List A match, Khurram held the Sindh innings together despite the loss of wickets from the other end.
The right-handed Khurram, hit 15 fours and one six in his 122, he faced 138 balls. Khurram added 67 runs for the sixth-wicket with captain Anwar Ali, the best partnership of the innings.
Captain Anwar scored a quickfire unbeaten 56 off 39 balls (three fours, four sixes) to take Sindh to their competitive total. Pacer Musa Khan who took two wickets for 43 runs was the pick of the Northern bowlers.
All-rounder Hammad Azam fought hard for Northern in their reply but his 70 off 65 balls (four fours, five sixes) went in vain as Northern were bowled out on the last ball of the 50th over, 13 runs short of the target. Hammad added 65 runs for the sixth-wicket with Haider Ali who contributed 55 off 72 balls (four fours, one six).
The two got the chase back on track after the first five wickets had tumbled with 129 runs on board, however some disciplined and probing bowling by Sindh didn’t allow Northern to get to the target.
Left-arm-spinner Danish Aziz who scored a match winning unbeaten century in the previous match for Sindh took four wickets for 32 runs to spearhead the bowling effort. Pacers Mohammad Umer and Mir Hamza took two wickets each.
The victory has further consolidated Sindh’s position at the top of the table (12 points from eight games, six wins and two defeats) and they are now guaranteed one of the four semi-final spots. Northern are placed fifth with six points from eight games, they would need to win their next two games and improve their run-rate to stay in the run for a semi-final spot.
Balochistan beat Central Punjab by six wickets at the State Bank Stadium
Central Punjab 296-8, 50 overs (Qasim Akram 108 not out, Zafar Gohar 48, Tayyab Tahir 42; Jalat Khan 2-40)
Balochistan 302-4, 49.4 overs (Haris Sohail 109 not out, Bismillah Khan 73, Akbar-ur-Rehman 38, Azeem Ghumman 38; Raza Ali Dar 1-33)
Player-of-the-Match: Haris Sohail
Southern Punjab beat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by five wickets at the UBL Sports Complex
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 244 all out, 45.5 overs (Khalid Usman 56, Mohammad Haris 54, Adil Amin 39, Musadiq Ahmed 37; Mohammad Abbas 4-40, Zahid Mahmood 2-28)
Southern Punjab 246-5, 48.2 overs (Shan Masood 91, Khushdil Shah 71, Mukhtar Ahmed 36; Khalid Usman 1-29)
Players-of-the-Match: Mohammad Abbas and Shan Masood
Sindh beat Northern by 13 runs at the NBP Sports Complex
Sindh 277-6, 50 overs (Khurram Manzoor 122, Anwar Ali 56 not out; Musa Khan 2-43)
Northern 264 all out, 50 overs (Hammad Azam 70, Haider Ali 55, Zeeshan Malik 44; Danish Aziz 4-32, Mohammad Umar 2-49, Mir Hamza 2-61)
Player-of-the-Match: Khurram Manzoor.