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Nisar Ahmad’s five-fer guides Lahore Blues to first win in Super Eight stage

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KARACHI: Lahore Blues’ Nisar Ahmed claimed a five-wicket haul including a hat-trick to guide his side to their first win in the Super Eight stage of the National T20 Cup 2023-24 after defeating Rawalpindi by 64 runs at National Bank Stadium.

After being put in to bat first, Lahore Blues openers Umar Siddiq (37, 23b, 7x4s) and Imran Butt (39, 29b, 6x4s, 1×6) gave their team a solid start by stitching a 74-run stand.

The side struggled in the middle, losing three wickets in quick succession. Zaman Khan ran Umar out while left-arm spinner Mehran Mumtaz struck twice, removing Imran and Rizwan Hussain.

Skipper Hussain Talat (42 not out, 32b, 3x4s, 1×6) and Qasim Akram (40 not out, 31b, 3x4s, 1×6) brought back momentum to the innings with an 85-run unbeaten partnership, which surged the total to 166.

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Rawalpindi got off to a shaky start in the pursuit of their target as the side lost three wickets inside the powerplay.

Haider Ali (23, 14b, 5x4s) attempted to counterattack the Lahore Blues’ bowling attack but fell soon after in the seventh over as he was trapped LBW by Kashif Bhatti.

Mubasir Khan (24, 26b, 1×4, 1×6) was the top-scorer for Rawalpindi with the side dismissed for 102 in 17.4 overs.

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Nisar Ahmad wrapped up the Rawalpindi innings with some exceptional death overs bowling, picking up a hat-trick and registering his first five-wicket haul in T20 cricket.

Nisar’s figures read five wickets for just five runs and he was named player of the match for his exceptional bowling.

Leg-spinner Usman Qadir grabbed two scalps while Umaid Asif and Kashif Bhatti picked up a wicket apiece.

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