Peshawar reach semis, Lahore Blues and Rawalpindi score vital wins in National T20

KARACHI  - Peshawar, Rawalpindi and La­hore Blues took the honours with triumphs in their respec­tive games after a day’s rest in the National T20 Cup 2023- 24 Super Eight stage across three venues in Karachi. 

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 first earlier in the day. Zaman Khan drew first blood as he dismissed M Akhlaq (37). Lahore Blues lost Tayyab Tahir (22), Ahmed Shehzad (27) and Saad Khan (6) in consecutive overs as Mubasir Khan and Jahandad Khan kept making inroads. Skipper Saad Nasim’s unbeaten 27-ball 33 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) had to depart. Lahore Whites then got three quick wickets including that of Yasir Khan (33). Skipper Umar Amin (25) joined forces with M Nawaz (22*) and made sure to take Rawalpindi close to the target. In the end, player of the match Jahandad Khan (17*) was crucial in taking Rawalpindi over the line. 

At NBP Sports Complex, Lahore Blues put up a valiant effort to defend a total of 153 runs as FATA fell nine short of the target. Lahore Blues opted to bat first with opener Umar Siddiq (40) looked in good touch as he kept churning bound­aries while his fellow opener Imran Butt (15) struggled in the middle. Hussain Ta­lat (57*) led Lahore Blues from the front as he smashed an unbeaten fifty. Junaid Ali’s (23) 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) and Re­han Afridi (35) got together and kept FATA in the game. Kashif Bhatti re­moved 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. 

Iftikhar Ahmed-led Peshawar secured a semifinal berth after defeating Abbot­tabad by 21 runs in Super Eight stage. Peshawar openers Sahibzada Farhan (64) and Israrullah (22), came out all guns blazing. M Haris (64), batting at No 3, struck a half century while Iftikhar Ahmed’s (28) 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 M Abbas Afridi, who bagged three wickets. M Imran and If­tikhar Ahmed also 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.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt