Southern Punjab just can’t get it right in the ongoing National T20 Cup in Rawalpindi as pressure mounted on their underperforming wicket-keeper/batter Azam Khan.
Change on the leadership front didn’t work ei-ther on Friday when Sohaib Maqsood relinquished the captaincy after four straight losses at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.
Incoming skipper Aamir Yamin met the same fate as Balochistan bulldozed South-ern Punjab by eight wickets.
Balochistan’s second triumph in five outings was marred by a horrific injury to their captain Imam-ul-Haq during the first half of the match when he crashed into a commercial hoarding while trying to stop a flick by Sohaib.
Imam, clearly grim-acing in agony, was immediately taken to hospital with the extent of the injury yet to be confirmed.
Sohaib — who along with Azam and Khushdil Shah are in the Pakistan squad for this month’s Twenty20 World Cup — top-scored for the second game running as he followed his knock of 75 against Northern on Wednesday with another half-century; the swashbuckling right-hander struck six fours and two sixes in making 54 off 34 deliveries.
While the left-handed Khushdil managed a 22-ball 25 (three boundaries), Azam’s wretched form with the willow continued when the burly right-hander fell for just 2 while missing an arm ball from part-time spinner and out-of-favour Pakistan batter Haris Sohail in a futile attempt to play an overambi-tious sweep.
The wicket-keeper/batter, who has been surpris-ingly picked as Mohammad Rizwan’s understudy for the World Cup, has mustered just 55 runs from five innings.