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Amad Butt’s last over heroics take Balochistan into the final

Amad Butt’s last over heroics take Balochistan into the final
Amad Butt’s last over heroics take Balochistan into the final

Balochistan beat Southern Punjab by three wickets in a last-ball thriller to secure a berth in the final of the National T20 Cup at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium.

All-rounder Amad Butt lofted Umaid Asif for a six with Balochistan needing two off the last ball to seal the second semi-final for his side.

Balochistan needed 18 when Umaid was handed the ball to bowl the final over.

Amad welcomed the lanky pacer with a boundary and followed up with another four on the second ball of the over. The fourth ball was launched for a six, which reduced the equation to three needed off the last two balls, before Umar Gul got run-out while converting one into two.

The 24-year-old was awarded man-of-the-match for his match-winning 29 not out from 14 balls, studded with three fours and two sixes.

Set a target of 174, Balochistan lost Imam-ul-Haq (10 off 7) and Bismillah Khan (11 off 7) in 2.4 overs.

Awais Zia (31 off 26) and Imran Farhat (20 off 17) crafted a 55-run partnership for the third-wicket to keep the run-chase alive.

All-rounder Hussain Talat, the top-scorer of the run-chase, followed up his 51-ball 77 against Northern yesterday with a gutsy 42 off 29 balls, hitting seven fours.

His stay at the crease came to an end off Wahab Riaz’s bowling in the penultimate over.

With two wickets for 36 runs in four overs, the left-arm fast-bowler was the pick of the bowlers for Southern Punjab.

That Southern Punjab had put up a respectable score, after being asked to bat, was largely due to the experience of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.

The pair knitted a 72-run partnership for the third-wicket, which set the platform for the Shan Masood-led side to post 173 for five in 20 overs.

Batting at number three, Hafeez scored 65 runs from 41 balls, hitting nine fours and a six, while Shoaib cracked a 40-ball 64, which had six fours and two sixes.

For Balochistan, right-arm medium-fast Ali Shafiq took two wickets for 31 runs. Akif Javed, Yasir Shah and Hussain picked up a wicket each.

The final of the National T20 Cup 2019-20 will be played at the Iqbal Stadium on Thursday, 24 October, with the first ball scheduled to be bowled at 1730.

 Scores in brief:

 Punjab 173-5, 20 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 65, Shoaib Malik 64; Ali Shafiq 2-31)

 Baochistan 178-7, 20 0vers (Hussain Talat 42, Awais Zia 31, Amad Butt 29, Haris Sohail 22, Imran Farhat 20; Wahab Riaz 2-36)