Pakistan National T20 Cup : Kamran Ghulam stuns Northern with 64-ball 110*
A stunning 64-ball 110 not out by Kamran Ghulam orchestrated a dominating Khyber Pakhtunkhwa win over Northern by 92 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium in what was the last group match of the National T20 2021-22. This was Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s first win over Northern in the history of the event.
Match Summary and Scores in brief:
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa beat Northern by 92 runs
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 207-4, 20 overs (Kamran Ghulam 110 not out, Iftikhar Ahmed 54 not out; Aaqib Liaquat 2-44)
Northern 115 all out, 18.4 overs (Rohail Nazir 34, Umar Amin 23; Khalid Usman 2-4, Imran Khan Snr 2-24, Asif Afrid 2-32)
Player of the match – Kamran Ghulam (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
The victory saw Khyber Pakhtunkhwa end the group stage at the top of the points table. As such, they will face fourth-placed Northern in the first semi-final tomorrow. The second semi-final will be played between second-placed Home City Central Punjab and third-placed GFS Sindh. All four semi-finalists gathered 12 points each with six wins from 10 matches.
Kamran had strolled to the middle at the end of the second over when Israrullah was removed by Athar Mahmood. Upon his arrival at the crease, the right-hander took the steering wheel to anchor his side’s innings, helping them gather 52 runs in six overs – six runs more than the average powerplay score at this venue in the tournament – despite the loss of another wicket.
Over the course of his maiden century, Kamran, clubbed six sixes and as many as 10 fours, and his 48-run alliance with wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Haris (15-ball 18) set the launching pad for the power-hitters in the middle-order.
Iftikhar Ahmed’s thunderous 54 not out at a strike rate of over 207 propelled the batting side to an imposing 207 for four. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain crunched four sixes and as many fours.
Iftikhar and Kamran added a staggering 93 in the last seven overs during their undefeated 133-run stand, which went down as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is best for the fifth wicket. The pair had come together in the ninth over when leg-spinner Aaqib Liaquat struck twice in an over to send Haris and Nabi Gul back to the hut.
The onslaught began in the 13th over with Kamran bludgeoning Aaqib for three consecutive sixes. From that point, the pair struck at least two boundaries in every over, except for the 14th, which was Nauman Ali’s fourth over. The left-arm orthodox finished as the only bowler in the innings with his economy rate in single digit as he returned none for 19.
Northern had an abysmal start to their run chase as opener Nasir Nawaz was dismissed by Imran Khan Snr on the second ball. Their problems compounded in the fourth over as the other opener, Ali Imran, was run out. They faced the next blow in the next over with one-drop Zeeshan Malik following the two openers back to the pavilion after getting caught off Arshad Iqbal. The scorecard at this stage read 33 for three.
Northern had scored six runs less and lost a wicket more than Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the powerplay as they managed 46 for three in six overs.
Northern lost wickets on regular intervals and with 23-ball 34 and 21-ball 23, wicketkeeper-batter Rohail Nazir and Umar Amin, the Northern captain, were the only notable run-getters.
The match settled for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa when Khalid Usman removed Rohail and Mubasir Khan in back to back overs, which reduced Northern to 98 for seven in 14th over.
From there on, it was only a matter of time. Northern were finally bowled out on the fourth ball of the penultimate over with Asif Afridi removing Aaqib.
Alike Khalid, Imran and Asif were the other two bowlers to finish with two wickets next to their names.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – Mohammad Rizwan (captain and wicketkeeper), Shaheen Shah Afridi (vice-captain), Adil Amin, Arshad Iqbal, Asif Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imran Khan Snr, Israrullah, Maaz Khan, Mohammad Haris (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Imran Khan, Mohammad Wasim, Mussadiq Ahmed and Sahibzada Farhan
Northern – Shadab Khan (captain), Mohammad Nawaz (vice-captain), Rohail Nazir (wicketkeeper), Ali Imran, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Imad Wasim, Musa Khan, Nasir Nawaz, Salman Irshad, Sohail Akhtar, Sohail Tanvir, Umer Amin, Zaman Khan and Zeeshan Malik
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