Young and energetic Kashmiri pacer Salman Irshad steered Mirpur Royals to their maiden win in the KPL 2021 over Overseas Warriors in the sixth match played at Muzaffarabad Stadium.
Sharjeel Khan and Shoaib Malik backed Royals’ chase as the team achieved the Warriors’ 146-run target easily on the very first ball of the second last over. Earlier, Overseas Warriors won the toss and elected to bat first against an experienced but out-of-form Mirpur Royals. Team failed to get off to a cracking start once again and kept on losing wickets regularly. Only Kamran Ghulam looked determined and threatening as the middle order batsman scored 47 off 35 smashing the ball for 3 fours and 2 maximums. Azam Khan took his time and tried to save wicket as the wicketkeeper batsman managed just 32 runs on 40 deliveries.
Salman Irshad sent three most important players Kamran Ghulam, Imad Wasim and Azam Khan back to the pavilion to help Royals restrict Warriors under 150 runs. Experienced and veteran openers of Mirpur Royals got off to a flying start of 63 runs and scored with a run-rate of 10 until Sharjeel lost his wicket in the 7th over of the innings. Muhammad Alhlaq also got run out after scoring just a run as fans saw Royals being 65/2 in 7.3 overs, looking towards the skipper for a rescue.
Shoaib Malik joined Mukhtar Ahmed in the middle to produce another match winning partnership of 63. When both Mukhtar and Malik lost their wickets in the 15th over to young Mohammad Musa who further dismissed Khushdil Shah as well in his next over, Royals were still in the perfect position to win the game. A 13-run knock of Amad Butt proved good enough to chase 146 despite of so much drama and excitement in the end due to young and excited pacer Muhammad Musa, who finished his spell with the figure of 4/27. Abbas Afridi also kept the batsmen in check as medium pacer conceded just 16 in his 4 overs. Royals won their first game in the tournament after losing to Rawalakot Hawks and Bagh Stallions while Overseas Warriors are still in search of 2 points after having played 2 games in KPL 2021.
SCORES IN BRIEF
MIRPUR ROYALS 146/5 in 18.1 overs (Mukhtar Ahmed 45, Shoaib Malik 36, Sharjeel Khan 35; Muhammad Musa 3/27) beat OVERSEAS WARRIORS 145/6 in 20 overs (Kamran Ghulam 47, Azam Khan 32; Salman Irshad 3/25).