Sindh registered their second consecutive victory in the Kingdom Valley National T20 Cup 2022-23 when they defeated Southern Punjab by 10 runs, thanks to Saim Ayub’s brilliant 92, at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.
According to information made available here on Wednesday, in the second match of the day, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa began their title defence with an 18-run win over Central Punjab. This was Central Punjab’s second close defeat in as many days.
A sparkling 92 by Saim Ayub and Mir Hamza’s scorching opening spell orchestrated Sindh’s win. Saim scored at a staggering strike rate of 177 and smashed seven sixes and six fours to set a demanding 191-run target for Northern. The left-handed opener added 39 and an innings-defining 85 with Omair Bin Yousuf (18 off 15) and Saud Shakeel (20 off 18) respectively, playing the lead role in both stands. Experienced all-rounder Sohail Tanvir was Northern’s pick of the bowlers with 3-28.
Left-arm pacer Mir Hamza provided Sindh a solid start by removing both Northern openers – Hasan Nawaz and Ali Imran – in back-to-back overs. As Nasir Nawaz (39 off 21) and Zeeshan Malik (29 off 31) were on course to stage a recovery, leg-spinner Zahid Mehmood bowled the former. Young all-rounder Mubasir Khan and Sohail gave Northern fans a glimpse of hope. Mubasir scored 33 off 25 (four fours and a six) and Sohail made 21 off 14 (two sixes) before he became Hamza’s third wicket. Hamza returned three for 33 and Sohail Khan picked up two wickets for 38.
Central Punjab’s Tayyab Tahir’s second consecutive fifty went in vain as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa began their title defence with an 18-run win in the second match of the day. Right-handed Tayyab scored a breezy 72 off 45 (5 fours and 3 sixes) in his side’s unsuccessful pursuit of 166. It was the 57-run stand for the third wicket with Qasim Akram that gave Central Punjab a chance at the target, but it ended in the 12th over.
Following the dismissal, Tayyab never got a reliable partner at the other end as KP bowlers picked up wickets at regular intervals; player of the match Imran Khan Snr returned 4-27, Mohammad Imran 2-19 and Asif Afridi 2-24. With Faheem Ashraf injured, Central Punjab’s innings ended with five balls spare for 147. KP, after their captain Khalid Usman opted to bat, made 165-6 with Kamran Ghulam top-scoring with a 32-ball 39.
SCORES IN BRIEF
SINDH 190-7, 20 overs (Saim Ayub 92, Saad Khan 26; Sohail Tanvir 3-28) beat NORTHERN 180-7, 20 overs (Nasir Nawaz 39, Mubasir Khan 33, Zeeshan Malik 29; Mir Hamza 3-33, Sohail Khan 2-38) by 10 runs. KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA 165-6, 20 overs (Kamran Ghulam 39, M Sarwar Afridi 30, Adil Amin 24; Ali Asfand 2-22) beat CENTRAL PUNJAB 147-9, 19.1 overs (Tayyab Tahir 72, Ahmed Shehzad 26; Imran Khan Snr 4-27, M Imran 2-19, Asif Afridi 2-24) by 18 runs.