ISLAMABAD: The home side of Islamabad, alongside Lahore, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Bahawalpur secured first-round triumphs in the ongoing Pakistan T20 Blind Cricket Trophy.
In the first match, Anees Javed’s magnificent all-round performance assisted the home side of Islamabad to thrash Gujranwala by a huge margin of 115 runs.
Batting first, Islamabad set a huge target of 228 runs in the allotted 20 overs, thanks to the astonishing knock of 135 by Anees. He faced just 72 balls and smashed 17 boundaries including two sixes.
Set to chase a mammoth, Gujranwala could only score 112 runs before being bowled out in the 18th over. The top-scorer for the side, Talha Iqbal fought hard with his gritty knock of 33 runs.
Anees, Shahzeb Haider, Yasir Malik, and Syed Kashan took two wickets each for Islamabad.
In the second match of the first round, the AJK edged past Peshawar by four runs in a high-scoring nail biter.
Batting first, AJK posted a huge total of 229/4 on the board at the back of the national team’s captain Nisar Ali, who shone with a blistering century; scoring 105 off 57 deliveries, laced with 17 boundaries.
Mohsin Khan was the pick amongst the bowler for Peshawar as he claimed two wickets for 34 runs.
In reply, Peshawar did not hold back and fought hard as Mohsin and Sanaullah Khan kept their chances alive by sensational batting stints but fell short of a mere four runs from steering their side to the victory.
Mohsin scored 82 runs off 53 balls while Sanaullah followed back with a brilliant 81 off 42 deliveries. Peshawar could score 225 runs for the loss of two wickets in 20 overs, hence losing the high-scoring thriller by a mere four runs.
The skipper Nisar and Habib Taj claimed one wicket apiece for AJK.
In another match, Lahore thumped Okara by eight wickets following a clinical run chase.
Set to chase 176 in 20 overs, the side chased down the target in style in the 12th over for the loss of two wickets.
Matiullah played a magnificent knock of 85 runs off 38 balls with the help of 12 boundaries and a six and remained the top-scorer for the side. Muhammad Salman also chipped in with a brilliant half-century; scoring 50 runs off just 17 balls.
Iftikhar Tiger was the only bowler for Okara to claim a wicket.
In the fourth match of the opening round, Bahawalpur also claimed their first victory of the tournament following a dominating run-chase.
The side chased down the target of 133 in just 10.5 overs for the loss of one wicket. Moeen Aslam went hard at the bowlers as he smashed an unbeaten 78 runs in the run chase off just 37 balls including 11 boundaries and a six.