KARACHI: Abbottabad skipper Yasir Shah led from the front and returned with figures of 3-12 to guide his side to a five-wicket victory over Sialkot in the Super Eight stage of the National T20 Cup 2023-24.
Abbottabad registered their first victory in the Super Eight stage in a low-scoring affair as they chased down Sialkot’s total of 119 at the loss of five wickets with 14 balls to spare.
Earlier when Shoaib Malik won the toss and elected to bat first, Sialkot openers looked in good touch.
Abbottabad’s Adil Naz drew first blood as he got one to crash into the stumps while Mohammad Huraira (15, 12b, 3x4s) got stuck on the crease.
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At the end of Powerplay, Sialkot looked well on their way to a competitive total with Mirza Tahir Baig leading the way.
Soon, Abbottabad’s skipper Yasir Shah introduced himself into the attack and along with fellow spinners Khalid Usman and Kamran Ghulam spun a web in middle overs.
Yasir struck in consecutive overs to remove Salman Khan (13, 21b, 1×4) and well-set Tahir (38, 29b, 3x4s, 2x6s).
Tahir got out in a bizarre way trying to pull a Yasir delivery on the back foot but fell on the stumps because of a cramp.
Shoaib Malik’s (6, 10b) stay on the wicket was cut short by Kamran who got him to hit one straight down the throat of the fielder at point.
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In the last seven overs, Sialkot only managed a paltry total of 36 runs and lost four wickets.
In reply, Abbottabad’s top order took them to a safe position with openers Sajjad Ali Jnr (50, 45b, 8x4s) and Aneez Azam (18, 15b, 4x4s) giving a brisk start while Kamran (26, 21b, 3x4s) chipped in with a vital contribution.
Sialkot spinners Bilal Asif and Hamza Nazar struck regularly but by then Abbottabad were in a strong position.
Atizaz Habib Khan (12 not out, 13b, 1×4, 1×6) made sure to cross the finishing line with 14 balls left.
Yasir Shah’s tight and incisive spell with the ball meant that he took away the player of the match award.