A belligerent knock from batsman Kashif Ali propelled Rawalakot Hawks to victory against Mirpur Royals in the second Eliminator of the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) on Monday.
The victory ensures the Hawks a place in the final of the inaugural edition of the tournament.
Chasing a mammoth target of 237 runs, Rawalakot Hawks were off to a bad start losing three early wickets.
Opener Umar Amin went for a duck while opener Bismillah Khan (15 off 10) and batsman Mohammad Imran (13 off 11) could not get going.
Batsman Hussain Talat played a brilliant knock, scoring 51 runs off 21 balls before falling to bowler Salman Irshad.
Batsman Kashif Ali was standing tall in the middle, fighting hard to keep his side in the match.
The explosive batsman Danish Aziz fell next off the bowling of pacer Amad Butt as Rawalakot Hawks looked for a batsman to step up in order to chase down the big target.
Skipper Shahid Afridi (19 off 13) was removed by pacer Sameen Gul next as the game headed into the final stage.
Kashif Ali did not let the opportunity go to waste and played an unbeaten knock of 114 runs off 52 balls to drive his side over the line with four wickets and two balls to spare. Earlier, Mirpur Royals were off to a great start batting first.
Opener Sharjeel Khan seemed to be on a mission, going after the bowlers in explosive fashion.
The other batsmen from the Royals’ side could only support a brilliant knock by Sharjeel as the opener dominated the entire innings with his impeccable power-hitting.
Batsmen Mukhtar Ahmed (21 off 17), Shoaib Malik (15 off 12) and Mohammad Akhlaq (29 off 21) provided support for the explosive opener as the Rawalakot Hawks’ bowlers seemed to have no answers.
Sharjeel was finally removed by pacer Zaman Khan after scoring 141 runs off just 63 balls to propel his side to a mammoth 236-run total for the loss of four wickets in their allotted overs.
Pacer Zaman Khan took two wickets while skipper Shahid Afridi took one wicket for the Rawalakot Hawks.