A record second-wicket partnership between Zeeshan Malik and Haider Ali led Northern to a 79-run win against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the opening match of the National T20 Cup. Abdullah Shafique’s’s Shafique’s hundred on debut in the second match against Southern Punjab ignited the spectators on TV on day one of the tournament.
In the first match, Northern’s’sNorther n’s captain Shadab Khan won the toss and elected to bat first. The 19-year-old Haider and the 23-year-old Zeeshan added 180 runs in 85 balls, helping their side to 242-3, the second-highest score in a T20 inning in tournament’s history.
Haider made 48-balls 90, which included five massive sixes and seven fours, whereas Zeeshan made 77 off 47 balls with the help of seven fours and three sixes. Asif Ali and Umar Amin played little cameos at the end of the inning. Both scored 23 and 14, respectively. For KPK, vice-captain Junaid Khan picked two wickets for 44 runs four overs.
Northern vs. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa highlights:
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa suffered a blow in the first over after left-arm orthodox, Mohammad Nawaz bowled Fakhar Zaman. They were reduced to 46-3 in 7.1 overs as skipper Muhammad Rizwan and veteran Mohammad Hafeez managed to score 17 and 6.
Sahibzada Farhan, the lone warrior for KP, scored 48-balls 62. However, he couldn’t get the team through due to the lack of support from the other end. Northern’s Musa Khan claimed 3-31 in his quota of four overs. Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Nawaz took two wickets apiece.
Southern vs. Central Punjab
Meanwhile, Central Punjab thumped Southern Punjab by seven wickets courtesy brilliant batting display by wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal and 20-year-old Abdullah Shafique first century of this year’s event.
Southern, after winning the toss, opted to bat on a flat batting track. Captain Shan Masood and Zeeshan Ashraf provided a quick start to the team. Zeeshan, on individual 14, was dismissed by Sohaibullah, who went on to become the pick of the bowlers for Central, taking 3-26.
Shan, accompanied by Multan-born Sohaib Maqsood, paced up the inning. Sohaib made a blistering 26-balls 51, while Shan scored 33-balls 51 with the help of three sixes and four boundaries to take the score past hundred in the 11th over. Later, all-rounder, Hussain Talat chipped in with valuable 17-balls 34, taking the team score to 200-8.
Usman Qadir was the second recognized bowler for Central, taking 2-31.
Central Punjab vs. Southern Punjab highlights:
In the absence of Babar Azam, Kamran was joined by young left-hander Rizwan Hussain who didn’t’ t trouble the opposition much. He, along with Abid Ali, was back to pavilion in successive deliveries courtesy Aamir Yamin’s’sYamin’s’s powerful first over.
But Southern didn’t’ t have the long laugh as veteran Kamran, and Abdullah posted 145-run stand. Kamran was dismissed in the 14th over. He smashed 75, which included two sixes and 11 fours. Stand-in captain Saad Nasim then supported Abdullah. He went on to finish the match on the back of his blistering hundred.
The highlight of the day was Abdullah’s batting, as he scored 58-balls 102, cruising his team to a 7-wicket win.