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Peshawar bag fifth consecutive win to qualify for semi-finals of National T20 Cup

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KARACHI: Peshawar registered yet another magnificent win in the Super Eight stage of the ongoing National T20 Cup, beating Abbottabad by 21 runs at National Bank Stadium and consequently qualifying for the semi-finals.

Peshawar openers Sahibzada Farhan (64, 40b, 7x4s, 3x6s) and Israrullah (22, 12b, 3x4s, 1×6), came out all guns blazing.

Mohammad Haris (64, 49b, 6x4s, 2x6s), batting at number three, struggled early on but then became the glue for Peshawar’s innings with a fine half-century.

Iftikhar Ahmed’s (28, 16b, 1×6, 3x4s) contribution saw the team surge to 195-4 in the allotted 20 overs.

In reply, Abbottabad lost three batters early in the powerplay but then Kamran Ghulam and Afaq Ahmed stitched a 92-run partnership that kept them in the game.

Peshawar’s bowling effort was led by Mohammad Abbas Afridi, who bagged three wickets.

He was also aided by fellow pacer Mohammad Imran and Iftikhar Ahmed as they kept Abbottabad in check.

Imran Khan Snr took the prized wicket of Kamran Ghulam. Only three Abbottabad batters managed to enter double-figures.

Sahibzada Farhan was declared player of the match for his brilliant knock with the bat.

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Earlier Lahore Blues put up a valiant effort to defend a total of 153 runs as FATA fell nine short of the target at NBP Sports Complex.

While batting first, Lahore Blues’ opening batter Umar Siddiq (40, 28b, 5x4s, 2x6s) looked in good touch as he kept churning boundaries while his fellow opener Imran Butt (15, 24b, 1×4) struggled in the middle.

Hussain Talat (57 not out, 36b, 2x4s, 1×6) led Lahore Blues from the front as he smashed an unbeaten fifty.

Wicketkeeper-batter Junaid Ali’s (23, 15b, 3x4s) contribution also helped Lahore Blues post a decent total.

FATA’s pursuit of the chase was jolted by the loss of four wickets by the 50-run mark.

Khushdil Shah (54, 42b, 2x4s, 3x6s) and Rehan Afridi (35, 30b, 4x4s) got together and kept FATA in the game. Kashif Bhatti struck at a crucial point in the game to remove both Khushdil and Rehan, which dented FATA’s chances of success.

Hunain Shah bagged two wickets in the last over and kept FATA tail-enders at bay from pulling off anything magical.

Hussain Talat and Nisar Ahmed bagged joint player of the match award for their efforts with bat and ball respectively.

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Before that, in another Super Eight stage match of the National T20 Cup at UBL Sports Complex Rawalpindi secured a vital five-wicket win as they chased a target of 147 in 19.1 overs against Lahore Whites.

Saad Nasim, Lahore Whites captain, won the toss and elected to bat and got a good start but Rawalpindi’s Zaman Khan dismissed a well-set Muhammad Akhlaq (37, 21b, 7x4s, 1×6).

Lahore Blues lost Tayyab Tahir (22, 17b, 3x4s), Ahmed Shehzad (27, 29b, 1×4) and Saad Khan (6, 5b) in consecutive overs as Mubasir Khan and Jahandad Khan kept making inroads.

Skipper Saad Nasim’s unbeaten 27-ball 33 laced with one six and two fours made sure Lahore Whites put up a competitive total on the board.

In reply, Rawalpindi openers scored briskly as they plundered 55 runs in 5.2 overs before Zeeshan Malik (21, 17b, 4x4s) had to depart.

Lahore Whites then got three quick wickets including that of the in-form opener Yasir Khan (33, 28b, 4x4s).

Skipper Umar Amin (25, 25b, 2x4s) joined forces with Mohammad Nawaz (22 not out, 23b, 2x4s) and made sure to take Rawalpindi close to the target.

In the end, a timely cameo by Jahandad Khan (17 not out, 6b, 2x4s, 1×6) was crucial in taking Rawalpindi over the line.

Jahandad Khan was declared player of the match for his all-round heroics.

READ: PCB announces international cricketers registered for PSL 9 Draft

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