Lahore: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has successfully defended the National T20 Cup title by beating Central Punjab in the final by seven wickets here at the Gaddafi Stadium.
KP chased down the target of 149 in 17 overs due to aggressive batting by skipper Iftikhar Ahmed, who slammed 45 runs off 19 balls.
At the top, Kamran Ghulam scored crucial 37 off 31 while Sahibzada Farhan made 26 off 28. Adil Amin supported batters and remained not out on 25 off 21.
Earlier, Iftikhar bowled a brilliant spell to restrict CP to 148. He was supported well by younsgters Mohammad Imran and Arshad Iqbal.
Iftikhar bagged three wickets in two overs, giving away only five runs. Left-armer Imran took 3/26 while Arshad claimed two for 28. Imran Khan Snr. and Khalid Usman also bagged a wicket each.
Central Punjab’s experienced campaigners Ahmed Shahzad (44) and Kamran Akmal (42) posted a 85-run stand after Mohammad Akhlaq went back to pavilion in the first over.
Spinners came in their way and caused a mini-collapse in middle-overs. CP lost four wickets for just 15 runs. They pinned hope from Qasim Akram, who smacked 20 runs off 11 but Imran bagged consecutive wickets to stop CP’s flow of runs.
At the back-end, Faheem Ashraf hit 14 off 6 balls to give CP a respectable score of 148, however, it was not enough for KP batters.
Iftikhar was awarded player of the match for his all-round performance while he also bagged player of the tournament award. He scored 409 runs at a strike rate of 170.41 and picked eight wickets at an economy rate of 5.57.