Rawalakot Hawks beat Mirpur Royals by 43 runs in the first game of Kashmir Premier League (KPL) 2021 at Muzaffar Stadium.
Captain of Mirpur Royals, Shoaib Malik, decided to ball first after winning the toss in the first game of Kashmir Premier League 2021. Hawks’ openers, Ahmad Shehzad and Bismillah Khan welcomed Royals’ bowlers with boundaries in the powerplay as the team reached 54 without losing any wicket after the first 6 overs. Both openers further accelerated and played strokes everywhere around the ground, helping Hawks post 100/0 in the 9th over of the inning. Ammad Butt came up with the first breakthrough for Mirpur Royals as young pacer sent settled Bismillah Khan back towards the pavilion. Wicket-keeper batsman scored quick 59 off 34 with 4 fours and 4 sixes. Hawks’ Inning slowed down after the first dismissal as the next batter, Umar Amin, struggled to find any connection with the ball and eventually threw his wicket away for 4 off 11. Ahmad Shehzad scored 69 with the help of 4 sixes and 7 fours while Hussain Talat’s 23 and a quick 16 runs inning of Shahid Afridi helped Rawalakot Hawks post 194/6 in 20 overs. Ammad Butt bowled with decent line and length and got 3 scalps for just 20 runs in his spell of 4 overs. Young Kashmiri pacer Salman Irshad also got 2 wickets for 38 runs.
Mirpur Royals struggled in the powerplay as two top order youngsters Ibtesam Ul Haq and Mohammad Taha went back to pavilions for golden ducks. Asif Afridi came up with another breakthrough as this time, Mukhtar Ahmad threw his wicket away for just 17 runs, team being 32/3 in the meanwhile. Two quick dismissals of Khushdil Shah and Muhammad Alhlaq increased the difficulties of the Royals as Shoaib Malik found his team being 58/5 in the 10th over of the inning. Mirpur Royals’ skipper tried to keep the chase alive through his superb knock of 77 for 51. When Zaman Khan bowled Ammad Butt on 22 in his second over, Royals required 90 in the last 5 overs. Shoaib Malik’s boundaries kept the game interesting for a longer period but couldn’t help his team chase a giant total of 195 as Royals fell short of 43 runs. Zaman Khan, Asif Afridi and Shahid Afridi with 2’2 scalps each, remained the star performers of Rawalakot Hawks.


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