Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa registered victories in the matches of Kingdom Valley National T20 Cup 2022-23 at the Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi on Wednesday.
In the first match, Sindh registered their second consecutive win in the National T20 Cup when they defeated Southern Punjab by 10 runs, thanks to Saim Ayub’s brilliant 92.
Saim scored the innings at a staggering strike rate of 177 and smashed seven sixes and six fours to set a demanding 191-run target for Northern. The left-handed opener added 39 and an innings-defining 85 with Omair Bin Yousuf (18 off 15) and Saud Shakeel (20 off 18) respectively, playing the lead role in both stands, after his opening partner Sharjeel Khan was cleaned up in the first over.
Experienced all-rounder Sohail Tanvir was Northern’s pick of the bowlers with three for 28.
Left-arm pacer Mir Hamza provided Sindh a solid start by removing both Northern openers – Hasan Nawaz and Ali Imran – in back-to-back overs. As Nasir Nawaz (39 off 21) and Zeeshan Malik (29 off 31) were on course to stage a recovery, leg-spinner Zahid Mehmood bowled the former.
Young all-rounder Mubasir Khan and Sohail gave Northern fans a glimpse of hope. They added 45 runs at a run rate of 11 but fell in the 18th and 19th overs. Mubasir scored 33 off 25 (four fours and a six) and Sohail made 21 off 14 (two sixes) before he became Hamza’s third wicket. Hamza returned three for 33 and Sohail Khan picked up two wickets for 38.
Meanwhile, in the second match of the day, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa began their title defence with an 18-run win over Central Punjab. This was Central Punjab’s second close defeat in as many days.
Central Punjab’s Tayyab Tahir’s second con-secutive fifty went in vain as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa began their title defence with an 18-run win in the second match of the day.
Right-handed Tayyab scored a breezy 72 off 45 (five fours and three sixes) in his side’s unsuccessful pursuit of 166. It was the 57-run stand for the third wicket with Qasim Akram that gave Central Punjab a chance at the target, but it ended in the 12th over.—APP