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Pakistan Cup: Umar Khan takes five wickets in Southern Punjab’s win


Left-arm-spinner Umar Khan took five wickets as Southern Punjab recorded a much-needed eight-wicket victory over Balochistan in the seventh-round match of the Pakistan Cup powered by Servis Tyres – One-Day Tournament 2020-21 at the NBP Sports Complex on Wednesday.

In other matches, Danish Aziz’s maiden List A century helped Sindh maintain their grip at the top of the points table with a four-wicket victory over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while Central Punjab continued their impressive comeback after three defeats in their first three matches with their fourth consecutive victory as they defeated Northern by 44 at the UBL Sports Complex. Leg-spinner Usman Qadir took six wickets to play a central role in Central Punjab’s win.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Sindh – State Bank Stadium, Karachi:

Sindh won the toss and asked Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to bat first in the clash between the two table-toppers (eight points each before the match), despite maintaining a high scoring rate, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lost wickets at regular intervals with the top-order batsmen failing to convert their starts.

After stuttering to 177 for seven, they were revived by the lower-order led by fast bowler Mohammad Wasim Jnr who posted the maiden List A 50 of his career. The right-hander scored 54 off 50 balls (five fours, four sixes) to propel his side to their 275 all out total.

Wasim added 43 runs for the tenth-wicket with Arshad Iqbal who scored three not out. Iftikhar Ahmed (39), Sahibzada Farhan (33) and Fakhar Zaman (31) were the main contributors in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa top-order. Captain Anwar Ali took two wickets for 57 runs for Sindh.

Sindh were rocked back in the first over of their chase when fast bowler Arshad sent back the two openers Sharjeel Ashraf and Khurram Manzoor with only two runs on the board. Asad Shafiq (24) added 73 for the third-wicket with Saad Ali. Azam Khan lifted the scoring rate with a typically aggressive 35 off 27 balls (three fours, two sixes) before falling to Iftikhar Ahmed. Saad fell for 49 (five fours, 64 balls).

Sindh were wobbling at 118 for five when Danish Aziz was joined by Hassan Khan. The two youngsters did not appear fazed by the situation as they rebuilt the Sindh innings before taking the attack to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bowlers.

The left-handed Danish did his growing reputation as a finisher no harm by scoring an unbeaten 101 off 102 balls (five fours, six sixes) to take his side home in the company of Anwar. Danish added 148 runs for the sixth-wicket with Hassan who scored 51 off 55 balls (two fours). Hassan who has been making vital contributions with both bat and ball in the tournament delivered for his team once again.

Asif Afridi took three while Arshad took two wickets.

Northern vs Central Punjab – UBL Sports Complex, Karachi:

Northern won the toss and opted to bowl first, Central Punjab openers Rizwan Hussain and the in-form Tayyab Tahir provided their side a 135-run start. Tayyab scored 53 (eight fours). The left-handed Rizwan hit 13 fours in his 77 before falling to Faizan Riaz.

A 116-run partnership for the fifth-wicket between captain Saad Nasim and Raza Ali Dar helped in the accumulation of Central Punjab’s eventual 330 for five total. Saad hit five fours and four sixes in his whirlwind unbeaten 82 off 60 balls. Raza scored 64 off 56 balls (six fours, one six). Faizan Riaz with two for 37 in five overs was the pick of the Northern bowlers.

Northern fought hard in the pursuit of the mammoth target but fell 44 runs short as they were dismissed for 286 in 47.1 overs. Central Punjab leg-spinner Usman Qadir (player-of-the-match) gave away 79 runs but kept taking wickets as he ended with a six-wicket haul to help dismiss Northern well short of the target.

Asif Ali hit a blazing 88 off 62 balls (five fours, seven sixes) while Hammad Azam and wicketkeeper batsman Rohail Nazir contributed 46 and 45 runs respectively. Opener Haider Ali made 38 runs, however none of the Northern batsmen could play the match defining innings as Central Punjab celebrated their fourth consecutive win in the tournament after losing their first three matches.

Central Punjab now have eight points from seven games and are well in contention for one of the four semi-final spots.

Balochistan vs Southern Punjab – NBP Sports Complex, Karachi:

Left-arm-spinner Umar Khan (player-of-the-match) justified his team’s decision to bowl first as Balochistan were rolled over for 157 in 38.2 overs. Balochistan lost their way after a 58-run opening stand between Bismillah Khan and Awais Zia (18). Bismillah top-scored for Balochistan with a 38-run contribution, he faced 32 balls and struck six fours and one six.

Balochistan lost all ten wickets for 99 runs as from 58 for no loss they crashed to 157 all out. Left-hander Ayaz Tasawar scored 36 off 78 balls (five fours). Amad Butt scored 26 runs. Umar ran through the Balochistan top-order as he finished with hugely impressive figures of 9.2-1-42-5. This was the first five-wicket haul of the 21-year-old’s List A career.

Openers Shan Masood and Mukhtar Ahmed added 121 runs for the first-wicket to ensure a comprehensive victory. Mukhtar, the leading run-scorer in the tournament so far scored 63 off 82 balls; his innings was punctuated with six fours and two sixes.

Shan remained unbeaten on 66 off 95 balls (seven fours), Southern Punjab completed the chase in 34.4 overs. This was their third win in the tournament; they are still in the hunt of a semi-final spot. Balochistan are at the bottom of the six-team table with two wins in seven games.

Scores in brief:

Sindh beat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by four wickets at the State Bank Stadium

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 275 all out, 49.2 overs (Mohammad Waseem Jnr 54, Iftikhar Ahmed 39; Anwar Ali 2-57)

Sindh 277-6, 48.4 overs (Danish Aziz 101 not out, Hassan Khan 51, Saad Ali 49; Asif Afridi 3-60, Arshad Iqbal 2-12)

Player-of-the-Match: Danish Aziz

Central Punjab beat Northern by 44 runs at the UBL Sports Complex

Central Punjab 330-5, 50 overs (Saad Nasim 82 not out, Rizwan Hussain 77, Raza Ali Dar 64, Tayyab Tahir 53; Faizan Riaz 2-37)

Northern 286 all out, 47.1 overs (Asif Ali 88, Hammad Azam 46, Rohail Nazir 45; Usman Qadir 6-79, Ahmed Bashir 2-56)

Player-of-the-Match: Usman Qadir

Southern Punjab beat Balochistan by eight wickets at the NBP Sports Complex

Balochistan 157 all out, 38.2 overs (Bismillah Khan 38, Ayaz Tasawar 36; Umar Khan 5-42)

Southern Punjab 158-2, 34.4 overs (Shan Masood 66 not out, Mukhtar Ahmed 63)

Player-of-the-Match: Umar Khan

22 January fixtures:

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

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