Rawalakot Hawks beat Mirpur Royals by 4 wickets with 2 balls to spare in the eliminator 2 of the KPL 2021. Hawks chased Mirpur Royals’ 237 runs target in the last over of the inning on Monday. They will face Muzaffarabad Tigers in the KPL final today (Tuesday).
Rawalakot Hawks skipper Shahid Afridi won the toss and elected to ball first on a batting paradise of Muzaffarabad where Royals’ openers got off to a sensational start and scored 74 in the first 7 overs. Mukhtar Ahmad played an ordinary inning of just 17 off 21 but his fellow opener, Sharjeel Khan, had a fabulous day at the 22 yards as the left-hander smashed every bowler for plenty of runs and produced another 51 runs stand on just 21 deliveries alongside Shoaib Malik on second wicket.
Malik scored just 15 off 12 while Sharjeel had such an outstanding stay that Royals reached 200 in the 17th over. Mohammad Akhlaq scored 29 off 21 with 2 fours and sixes while Khushdil Shah helped his side reach 236 by contributing with his 12 runs knock. Sharjeel played a big inning of 141 off 63 deliveries on a big day, making sure Royals score some extra runs as well. He smashed 12 fours and 12 sixes. Zaman Khan gave away 18 runs in 4 overs and sent Shoaib Malik and Sharjeel Khan back to pavilion.
Ahmed Shehzad had got injured during the fielding so Hawks were coming up with double pressure of chasing 237 and having lost their premium cast opener, Sameen Gul stroke in his very first over when Umar Amin threw an easy catch to the wicketkeeper. Mohammad Imran had not been utilized brilliantly at the lower order so management promoted him at No 3 to go big in a high-scoring competition but the all-rounder failed to get a good outing and lost his wicket for just 13 off 11 to Ammad Butt who dismissed Bismillah Khan as well after just another delivery in the same over.
Coming in at No 4, young Kashmiri sensation, Kashif Ali, had a day better than Sharjeel Khan even as he rescued his side in their all important game. Kashif was joined by Hussain Talat and both produced an impressive partnership, scoring 85 in just 6.3 overs. Hussain got out for 51 off 22 that included his 7 fours and 2 sixes as well. Danish Aziz got out for just 6 off 5 while Shahid Afridi failed to play a big inning on the big day. Asif Afridi also scored just 7 runs but Kashif Ali alone went on to chase more than 50 in the last 4 overs as Hawks chased 237 runs target in 19.4 overs.
Kashif played an unbeaten knock of 114 off 51 with 9 fours and 8 sixes. Ammad Butt and Sameen Gul took 3 and 2 wickets each but failed to stop the flow of runs at the back end that helped Hawks chase a record total in KPL 2021. Due to his outstanding 114, Kashif Ali was given man of the match award in eliminator 2. BRIEF SCORES RAWALAKOT HAWKS: 237/6, 19.4 over (Kashif Ali 114, Hussain Talat 51; Ammad Butt 3/40, Sameen Gul 2/40) beat MIRPUR ROYALS: 236/4, 20 ov (Sharjeel Khan 141, Mohammad Akhlaq 29; Zaman Khan 2/18) by 4 wickets.