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Pakistan Cup: Ayaz Tasawar and Imran Farhat starred for Balochistan


Opener Tayyab Tahir’s maiden List A century guided Central Punjab to a four-wicket victory over Southern Punjab while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa overcame Northern and Balochistan defeated Sindh in the fourth-round matches of the Pakistan Cup powered by Servis Tyres – One-Day Tournament 2020-21 in Karachi on Thursday.

Central Punjab vs Southern Punjab, State Bank Stadium, Karachi:

Southern Punjab got off to a poor start after Central Punjab won the toss and chose to bowl first. Pacer Ahmed Bashir got rid of the openers with only three runs on the board.

Sohaib Maqsood scored a blazing 60 off 49 balls (five fours, five sixes) to bring his team back in the hunt in a 86-run partnership with captain Hussain Talat. Sohaib hit four sixes in Ahmed’s fifth over (ninth of the innings). Zubair Khan got Sohaib’s crucial wicket as the right-hander was caught at the mid-off boundary attempting another big shot.

Hussain contributed 60 off 64 balls (five fours, two sixes) before falling to Sohaibullah. Southern Punjab were helped past the 300-run mark by contributions from middle-order batsman Waqar Hussain (70 off 64 balls, six fours, one six), all-rounder Muhammad Imran (46 off 47 balls, two fours) and fast bowler Mohammad Ilyas (32 off 20 balls, four fours, one six).

Southern Punjab finished their 50 overs at 320 for nine; Ahmed and Raza Ali Dar took three wickets each for Central Punjab.

In reply, openers Rizwan Hussain and Tayyab Tahir provided Central Punjab a flying start with a 103-run first-wicket stand. Left-handed Rizwan played some scintillating shots in his blazing 76 off 37 balls (seven fours, seven sixes) before falling to Muhammad Imran.

Central Punjab were pegged back by the loss of four quick wickets and were in a spot of bother at 172 for four before Tayyab was joined by all-rounder Qasim Akram who contributed 46 runs in a 100-run partnership for the fifth-wicket.

Despite the loss of wickets at the other end, Tayyab remained composed and batted throughout the innings before hitting the winning runs off the first ball of the final over bowled by Hussain.

The right-hander remained unbeaten on 131 off 140 balls (12 fours, two sixes) to deservedly win the player-of-the-match award. For Southern Punjab, Imran and Zahid took two wickets each. This was Central Punjab’s first victory of the tournament.

Balochistan vs Sindh, UBL Sports Complex, Karachi:

Balochistan asked Sindh to bat first after the match was reduced to 47 overs per team due to a delayed start caused by overnight dew. Fifties by Hassan Khan and Danish Aziz in the lower-order took Sindh to 239 for nine.

The two added 52 runs for the sixth-wicket after Sindh had stuttered to 131 for five. Hassan hit six fours in his 54 off 55 balls. The left-handed Danish hit two fours and one six in his 52-run contribution off 71 balls. Earlier, Asad Shafiq was dismissed for 43 off 61 balls.

All-rounder Amad Butt was the pick of the Balochistan bowlers, the right-arm pacer took five wickets for 54 runs in his nine overs. Left-arm-spinner Kashif Bhatti provided him useful support by taking two wickets for 38 runs in 10 overs.

Balochistan chased down the target for the loss of seven wickets with three balls to spare. Left-handers Ayaz Tasawar and captain Imran Farhat starred for Balochistan. Ayaz top-scored with 69 off 107 balls with the help of eight fours as he anchored the innings. Imran scored 59 off 65 balls with the help of nine fours.

Kashif Bhatti scored an undefeated 40 off 43 balls (five fours, one six) to take his side to victory, he added 35 runs for the unbroken eight-wicket stand with Taj Wali who made 11 not out after Balochistan had wobbled to 205 for seven.

Fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain took three wickets for 36 runs for Sindh, Mohammad Umar, Hasnain’s new-ball partner, took two wickets for 53 runs. Amad was named player-of-the-match.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Northern, NBP Sports Complex, Karachi:

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa won the toss and asked Northern to bat first. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bowling attack pegged back Northern from the outset.

Pacer Irfanullah Shah took two early wickets before spinners Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Afridi, captain Khalid Usman, Sajid Khan and Kamran Ghulam sliced through the Northern middle and lower order.

Faizan Riaz, batting at number four, was the only one to withstand the bowlers for a considerable time, scoring 42 off 83 balls with the help of four fours before he was dismissed by off-spinner Sajid.

Hammad Azam with 19 runs was the second best Northern batsman as they were dismissed for a mere 112 runs in 36.4 overs. Iftikhar took three wickets with his off-spin bowling, left-arm-spinner Asif Afridi and Irfanullah took two wickets each.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also found the conditions challenging as they lost six wickets before achieving victory in 23.1 overs. Khalid and Sajid added 25 runs for the unbroken seventh-wicket stand to guide their team to victory after Mubasir Khan’s three for 20 had helped reduce Northern to 88 for six.

Salman Irshad, Mohammad Nawaz and Faizan took a wicket each for Northern. Sajid was awarded the player-of-the-match award for his all-round performance which included bowling figures of 3-1-4-1 and his unbeaten 20 off 14 balls (one four, one six).

Scores in brief:

Central Punjab beat Southern Punjab by four wickets at the State Bank Stadium

Southern Punjab 320-9, 50 overs (Waqar Hussain 70, Sohaib Maqsood 60, Hussain Talat 60; Ahmed Bashir 3-51, Raza Ali Dar 3-67)

Central Punjab 321-6, 49.1 overs (Tayyab Tahir 131 not out, Rizwan Hussain 76, Qasim Akram 46; Muhammad Imran 2-39, Zahid Mahmood 2-61)

Player-of-the-Match: Tayyab Tahir

Balochistan beat Sindh by three wickets at the UBL Sports Complex

Sindh 239-9, 47 overs (Hassan Khan 54, Danish Aziz 52, Asad Shafiq 43; Amad Butt 5-34, Kashif Bhatti 2-38)

Balochistan 240-7, 46.3 overs (Ayaz Tasawar 69, Imran Farhat 59, Kashif Bhatti 40 not out; Mohammad Hasnain 3-36, Mohammad Umar 2-53)

Player-of-the-Match: Amad Butt

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa beat Northern by four wickets at the NBP Sports Complex

Northern 112 all out, 36.4 overs (Faizan Riaz 42; Iftikhar Ahmed 3-12, Asif Afridi 2-16, Irfanullah Shah 2-20)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 113-6, 23.1 overs (Sajid Khan 20 not out, Mohammad Haris 19; Mubasir Khan 3-20)

Player-of-the-Match: Sajid Khan

16 January fixtures:

Northern vs Sindh – State Bank Stadium; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Southern Punjab –UBL Sports Complex; Balochistan vs Central Punjab –NBP Sports Complex

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