Pakistan National T20 Cup - Semi-final line-ups in place after Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa clinch crushing wins

Pakistan National T20 Cup – Semi-final line-ups in place after Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa clinch crushing wins

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All four qualifying sides finished with 12 points, and KP will take on Northern again in the semi-finals, while Central Punjab face Sindh

Sindh 117 for 5 (Taha 47*, Ibrahim 2-24) beat Balochistan 113 for 5 (Sohail 37*, Abrar 2-15) by five wickets

Sindh cruised to a five-wicket win in a low-scoring encounter against Balochistan, with Danish Aziz and Abrar Ahmed spearheading the win.

Put in to bat first, Balochistan struggled for fluency at the start of the innings, but it was the middle portion where the wheels really began to come off. Danish and Abrar combined for figures of 8-0-29-3, and with no batter really able to relieve the pressure with a high-impact knock, it was left to Sohail Akhtar to score an unbeaten 37 off 36 to ensure his side at least crossed the three-figure mark. Balochistan ended up limping to 113.

There was little jeopardy in the chase, where despite a couple of early wickets, it felt the pressure was entirely off Sindh. Mohammad Taha, who hung around till the end, top-scored with 47 off 48, in the circumstances exactly what Sindh needed. With the required rate never really rising above a run-a-ball, the result felt very much a foregone conclusion long before the game was actually over, allowing Sindh to join Central Punjab with 12 points and go into the semi-finals with momentum on their side.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 207 for 4 (Ghulam 110*, Iftikhar 54*) beat Northern 115 all out (Rohail 34, Usman 2-4) by 92 runs

An unbeaten 143-run partnership between centurion Kamran Ghulam and half-centurion Iftikhar Ahmed helped Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wallop Northern by 92 runs.

Northern put KP in and made early inroads, taking four wickets inside the first nine overs. Nauman Ali, who opened the bowling, was instrumental in keeping the run rate in check, conceding just 19 from his four, but once Iftikhar joined Ghulam at the crease, it all went downhill for Northern. No other bowler came close to managing Nauman’s control, each conceding over 40 from their allotted overs; the combination of Mohammad Musa, Aaqib Liaquat, Aamer Jamal and Muhammad Musa leaking 184 in 16 overs. Ghulam and Iftikhar brought up their individual milestones and there was time enough for a collective one, with KP crossing 200 in the 20th over, and finally setting Northern 208 for victory.

KP’s bowlers were on song right from the start, all six of them among the wickets, meaning Northern never came within sight of the target. Imran Khan removed Nasir Nawaz in the first over, and contributed to a run-out that removed his opening partner Ali Imran. Rohail Nazir, the brightest spark for Northern, was eye-catching in a 23-ball 34, but once Khalid Usman cleaned up his stumps, all resistance crumbled. The last five wickets fell for 19 runs as Northern were skittled out for 115.

The only consolation was this was something of a dead rubber. Northern will need to do a whole lot better when they face KP in the semi-final, while Central Punjab take on Sindh in the other one.

Source Link : https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/pakistan-national-t20-cup-semi-final-line-ups-in-place-after-sindh-and-khyber-pakhtunkhwa-clinch-crushing-wins-1282539?ex_cid=OTC-RSS

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