National T20 Cup: Central Punjab defeats Balochistan
National T20 Cup: Central Punjab defeated Balochistan by 3 wickets in the 28th match of the National T20 Cup at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
Central Punjab registered a thrilling 3 wickets win to confirm their semi-final spot as Balochistan were knocked out from the tournament.
Central Punjab joined Northern in the semi-finals while their victory also ensured semi-final qualification for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. Central Punjab and Northern have 12 points while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh are on 10 points.
Balochistan set 163 runs target for Central Pujab but Captain Wahab Riaz delivered the killer blow with 3 sixes in the 18th over of the innings bowled by Amad Butt.
Young all-rounder Qasim Akram had hit a six on the first ball of the over before he handed over the strike to Wahab with a single on the second ball. A total of 27 runs were scored in the Amad over, before the over began Central Punjab had needed 29 runs to win.
Wahab 28 off 9 (4 sixes) and Qasim 13 off 5 (1 boundary, 1 six) added 38 off 14 for the unbroken eight-wicket stand.
The platform for the chase was laid with 48 runs stand between wicketkeeper Muhammad Akhlaq 32 off 21 and Hussain Talat (20).
Central Punjab wobbled in the chase in the middle overs and had stuttered 98 for 5 at one stage. Faheem Ashraf revived the chase with a quickfire 27 off 15 (1 boundary, 3 sixes) before Wahab and Qasim combined to take their side past the target.
Earlier, Central Punjab opted to bowl first after winning the toss. Balochistan opener Abdullah Shafique once again displayed his impressive batting with his second successive half-century. Abdullah top-scored for Balochistan with 60 off 42 (3 boundaries, 4 sixes).
None of the top and middle-order batters could reach double figures. Abdullah finally found an able ally in Amad Butt, the two added 46 runs for the sixth-wicket.
Amad hit a scintillating 43 off 27 (2 boundaries, 3 sixes), and remained unbeaten. He added 40 runs for the seventh-wicket with Umaid Asif who smashed 2 sixes in his 15 off 5.
Sameen Gul who was later adjudged player of the match, bowled an outstanding spell for Central Punjab taking 3 wickets for 20 runs in his 4 overs. Mohammad Faizan took 2 wickets.
Balochistan 162 for 7, 20 overs (Abdullah Shafique 60, Amad Butt 43 not out; Sameen Gul 3-20, Mohammad Faizan 2-30)
Central Punjab 182 for 6, 20 overs (Muhammad Akhlaq 32, Wahab Riaz 28 not out, Faheem Ashraf 27; Haris Sohail 2-21)
Player of the match: Sameen Gul
GFS Sindh vs Balochistan -3pm
Northern vs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa -7:30pm
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