Shoaib Malik stole the show with his bowling exploits and led Sialkot to register a super-over victory over Multan on the opening day of the National T20 Cup 2023/24.
In the Group D clash of the ongoing 18-team tournament, Sialkot and Multan went hard at each other and could not be separated after two innings as both drew level on 148 each.
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Sialkot’s captain Malik stood up for his side and bowled the super over which saw him take both wickets for just three runs after which Sialkot got over the line in four deliveries.
Multan had notable performers in Zeeshan Ashraf (61, 45b, 4x4s, 4x6s) and Tahir Hussain (4-26) while Sialkot opener Mirza Tahir Baig had made a 48-ball 66 in the first innings.
FATA right-arm pacer Shahid Aziz rattled the AJK batting with a four-fer as the latter fell short by 40 runs in the other Group D encounter of the National T20 Cup at HPC Oval Ground.
In the first innings, Khushdil Shah (54, 40b, 3x4s, 3x6s) and Mohammad Sarwar Afridi (44 not out, 30b, 2x4s, 4x6s) set the tone for FATA reaching the match-winning total of 153-8 in 20 overs.
Rawalpindi claimed a sensational three-wicket win over Abbottabad in the Group C clash of the National T20 Cup.
Wicket-keeper Mohammad Raza-ul-Mustafa fired an unbeaten 42 off 18 balls to power the side to glory while Fakhar Zaman’s feisty 72 to help Abbottabad post 177-5 went in vain as Raza’s boundary-laden cameo saw Rawalpindi win on the penultimate ball.
Asif Ali-led Faisalabad delivered a thumping all-round performance to register a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Bahawalpur.
Faisalabad pacer Asad Raza’s three wickets and contributions from Waqas Maqsood (2-24) and Shehzad Gul (2-15) saw Bahawalpur muster only 117-9, which seemed insufficient in front of Mohammad Faizan’s brilliant 76 not out off 55 deliveries.
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Karachi Whites and Dera Murad Jamali emerged victorious in the Group B matches of the National T20 Cup against Islamabad and Hyderabad respectively.
Karachi Whites captain Asad Shafiq led from the front with a solid 59 against Islamabad at UBL Sports Complex to help his side complete a four-wicket win with nine balls to spare. Earlier, leg-spinner Arif Yaqoob took four wickets to restrict Islamabad to 119-7 in 20 overs.
Dera Murad Jamali held onto a tight one-run victory over Hyderabad, managing to successfully defend a low target of 118 at UBL Sports Complex.
An all-round bowling performance spearheaded by an economical spell from Nasir Khan, who gave away just eight runs in his four overs and took a wicket, kept Hyderabad to 116-8 in 20 overs.
Meanwhile, in Group A Karachi Blues stunned Peshawar while Lahore Whites humbled Larkana to register their maiden victories in the National T20 Cup.
Syed Waleed Azeem and Mohammad Taha took three wickets each to bundle out Peshawar for 101 as Karachi Blues romped to the 102-run target for the loss of just three batters and 10 balls remaining.
Opening batter Fazal Subhan made 50 not out of 48 balls to steer the chase.
Ahmed Shehzad and Muhammad Akhlaq showcased their batting heroics with a 113-run opening partnership led Lahore Whites to secure a seven-wicket win over Larkana at NBP Sports Complex.
Mohammad Irfan fronted Lahore Whites’ well-rounded bowling effort with 3-12 to contain Larkana to a modest 137-8.