Childhood Friends Earn Sindh Thrilling Win | Central Punjab vs Sindh | Match 18 | PCB
Languishing at the fifth spot with a mere two points and four losses in their first five games, Sindh looked destined for another defeat last night at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in their sixth match of the National T20 Cup for First XI teams when they lost their fifth wicket of the big-hitting Azam Khan with only 97 runs on the board in their chase of 171 runs against the Babar Azam-led Central Punjab.
The match was then turned decisively on its head in a stunning sixth wicket partnership of 57 runs in a mere 27 balls between two childhood friends’ man-of-the-match Danish Aziz and former Pakistan U19 captain Hassan Khan.
Hassan, who led Pakistan in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2018, stunned both the Central Punjab team and cricket fans with a series of huge sixes which belied his slight frame. The right-hander sealed the fate of the match by hitting fast bowler Ehsan Adil for three sixes in the 17th over of the Sindh innings.
Before the start of the over, Sindh needed 37 off 24 balls, Hassan went into the top-gear smoking sixes on the second, fourth and fifth ball of the over as 20 runs were taken of the over.
Hassan eventually fell for 36 off a mere 15 balls (two fours, four sixes) but had done enough to make the job easy both for his batting partner Danish and the batsmen to follow as Sindh completed their chase on the first ball of the 20th over with three wickets to spare.
Hassan Khan: “When I joined Danish at the crease, we decided to attack to bring the asking rate down. Danish briefed me about the behaviour of the pitch and how we needed to approach the task at hand. We aimed to get at least one boundary per over and score runs in singles or doubles in the rest of the over.
“I really enjoyed the flick over square-leg that went for six in that Ehsan Adil over; I was very pleased to play a match winning role and that too in the company of my childhood friend Danish.”
Danish remained calm despite losing Hassan and then Anwar Ali, with nine runs required off the last seven balls, Danish hit Ehsan for a six over long-on which proved to be the decisive blow. Sohail Khan scored two runs off the first ball of Waqas Maqsood’s final over of the match before a wide bowled by Waqas finished the match in Sindh’s favour.
Danish who scored 59 not out off 32 balls, (five fours, three sixes) was equally pleased with his effort of seeing his side through to victory, like Hassan, he also enjoyed the company of his good friend in the crucial sixth wicket partnership.
Danish Aziz: “Hassan and I are childhood friends; we have played a lot of cricket together for Karachi and have represented Pakistan in age-group cricket together. We play a lot of club cricket together and also practiced at the same academy. We know each other’s capabilities and game very well which I feel helped us a great deal out in the middle. I am very pleased that I contributed to my side’s win in a tournament which has a lot of interest and following, I enjoyed all my boundaries but the six against Ehsan Adil in the penultimate over stands out.”