KARACHI: Sindh got a guaranteed No. slot. 1 in the Pakistan Cup after a successful high-scoring chase against South Punjab, who despite losing are still in the semi-final race with Northern.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, meanwhile, booked their last four place after completing a fifth win against Central Punjab, which also has a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages, delivering defeat to high-flying Sindh in the final round of Tuesday’s qualifiers.
Northern finally ended a five-game losing streak – having started the competition with three straight wins – with a notable turnaround against knocked out Balochistan at the NBP Sports Complex.
Balochistan, entering, posted 249-6 on the back of a 136 partnership run for a sixth goal involving Akbar-ur-Rehman (75 from 89 balls, four limits) and Ayaz Tasawwar (82 unbeaten from 68, six four and two six).
Northern made it over the line with 20 deliveries remaining with young Haider Ali (53) and man of the match Rohail Nazir (unbeaten 69) starring them.
The avalanche of runs continued on the SBP Sports Complex fleece as the Sindh and South Punjab combined to collect a total of 797 runs in 96.5 overs. After losing the throw, South Punjab hit them away to 348-4 in 50 overs.
The foundation was built by captains Shan Masood and Sohaib Maqsood, who shared a massive second goal partnership with exactly 200 men, with the two men striking stark contrasts. While Shan hit a 141-ball 125 (13 fours and one six), Sohaib hit 10 six and nine fours in a whirlwind of 130. But their heroism failed to stop Sindh from sealing their seventh success with 19 balls remaining.
Four of the Sindh batsmen scored over 50 but the game-changing stand was the unbroken stand of 145 between the co-winners of the man-of-the-match awards Saad Ali (78 off 54, nine fours and one six) and captain Anwar Ali ( 69 off 34, five sixes and three fours), while the other major contributors were Asad Shafiq (62 off 61, seven limits) and Denmark Aziz (64 off 61, eight fours and one six).
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa posted 328-9 after they were pasted at the UBL Sports Complex by Punjab Central. Fakhar Zaman (92 off 95, eight fours and three sixes) and man-of-the-match Iftikhar Ahmed (76 off 71, five sixes and fours) scored 145 for the third goal but the icing on the cake was decorated by 43-ball 51 Adil Amen (three six and two four).
Central Punjab only managed 259 as it avenged a defeat with 69 runs with Iftikhar taking 4-47 in his 10 overs from the off-spinner.
Results on Sunday:
At the SBP Sports Complex, Karachi: Sindh beat South Punjab by five goals.
SELATAN PUNJAB 348-4 within 50 overs (Sohaib Maqsood 130, Shan Masood 125, Hussain Talat 46 no exit, Mukhtar Ahmed 30; Mohammad Hasnain 2-38); SINDH 349-5 in 46.5 overs (Saad Ali 78 not leaving, Anwar Ali 69 not leaving, Danish Aziz 65, Asad Shafiq 62, Khurram Manzoor 34; Mohammad Abbas 2-62).
At the UBL Sports Complex, Karachi: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa beat Central Punjab by five 69 runs.
KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA 328-9 in 50 overs (Fakhar Zaman 92, Iftikhar Ahmed 76, Adil Amin 51, Khalid Usman 30, Mohammad Haris 20 not out; Zafar Gohar 3-49, Qasim Akram 2-36); CENTRAL PUNJAB 259 in 44.3 overs (Qasim Akram 67, Raza Ali Dar 50, Rizwan Hussain 46, Saad Nasim 24, Zafar Gohar 24; Iftikhar Ahmed 4-47, Asif Afridi 3-65, Imran Khan 2-56).
At the NBP Sports Complex, Karachi: Northern beat Balochistan by six goals.
BALOCHISTAN 249-6 in 50 overs (Ayaz Tasawwar 82 not out, Akbar-ur-Rehman 75, Imran Farhat 48; Athar Mahmood 2-54, Waqas Ahmed 2-65); NORTH 252-4 in 46.4 overs (Rohail Nazir 69 not out, Haider Ali 53, Umar Amin 47, Hammad Azam 30 not out, Taimoor Sultan 24; Mohammad Junaid 2-49).
Tuesday’s fixtures (match starts at 09.30 PST): Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Balochistan (SBP Sports Complex, Karachi); South vs North Punjab (UBL Sports Complex, Karachi);
Sindh vs Central Punjab (NBP Sports Complex, Karachi).
(Tabulated under plays, wins, loses, points, net runs ratio):
Sindh 9 7 2 14 +0.952
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 9 5 4 10 +0.293
South Punjab 9 4 5 8 +0.108
North 9 4 5 8 -0.161
Central Punjab 9 4 5 8 -0,388
Balochistan 9 3 6 6 -0,718
Published in Dawn, January 25, 2021
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