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Southern Punjab beat Sindh by 34 runs in National T20 Cup

Southern Punjab players celebrate
Sindh players celebrate a wicket
Captains toss up

Southern Punjab beat Sindh by 34 runs to stay alive in the ongoing National T20 Cup at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium.

Southern Punjab lost both openers – Shan Masood, the captain, and Mohammad Hafeez – within the first over, thanks to Sohail Khan, after opting to bat first.

 Sohail struck again in his second over which reduced the batting side to four for three in 2.1 overs.

 A 30-ball 41 by Wahab Riaz, who batted at number three, weathered the storm. The 34-year-old cracked three fours and two sixes and crafted a 73-run stand for the fourth-wicket with veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik - who scored 38 runs from 41 balls, hitting three fours and a six.

Late surges by Aamer Yamin (27 off 19) and Bilawal Bhatti (24 off 14) helped Southern Punjab post a respectable score of 148 for nine in 20 overs.

It was, however, right-arm fast-medium Sohail who was the star performer in the first innings with four for 15 in four overs.

Anwar Ali and Kashif Bhatti returned three for 21 and two for 55.

A 63-run stand for the third-wicket between Asad Shafiq, who scored run-a-ball 25, and Sarfaraz Ahmed (45 off 37) gave Sindh a hope after Khurram Manzoor and Ahsan Ali were back in the pavilion inside the first 10 balls of the run chase.

 The fall of Asad’s wicket in the 10th over handed complete control of the match to Southern Punjab as Hafeez and Zahid Mahmood picked up four wickets each to skittle out Sindh for 114 in 17.4 overs.

 For his four for 24 in four overs, Hafeez bagged the man-of-the-match award.

 With this match, both, Southern Punjab and Sindh, have completed their all group matches.

 After the 13th match of the National T20 Cup, Southern Punjab, with five points, are placed third on the points table, while Sindh are fourth with four points.

Northern and Balochistan are first and second on the points table with six points each from four matches.

Central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are fifth and sixth with three and two points.

 Scores in brief:

 Southern Punjab 148-9, 20 overs (Wahab Riaz 41, Shoaib Malik 38, Aamer Yamin 27, Bilawal Bhatti 24; Sohail Khan 4-15, Anwar Ali 3-21, Kashif Bhatti 2-55)

 Sindh 114 all-out, 17.4 overs (Sarfaraz Ahmed 45, Asad Shafiq 25; Zahid Mahmood 4-21, Mohammad Hafeez 4-24)