Thomas guides Warriors to 5-wicket win over Royals in PJL

LAHORE-George Thomas registered his second fifty of the Pakistan Junior League (PJL) as he spearheaded a five-wicket win for Mardan Warriors against Bahawalpur Royals in the seventh match of the tournament under the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore lights on Monday. 
Set a 146-run target, Warriors mentored by Pakistan legend Shahid Afridi, had to withstand a spirited fight back by Royals who took three quick wickets to cause a stutter in the chase following a formidable start by the Warriors. Their opening pair of George Thomas and Shahzaib Khan provided an excellent platform with a 78-run partnership in 9.3 overs. Off-spinner Arham Nawab provided the much-needed breakthrough for Royals when he had Shahzaib caught and bowled for 32. Thomas completed his 50 off 31 balls and continued to attack in the 25-run second-wicket partnership with Olly Cox which was broken when Cox holed out to Nangeyalia Kharote for 12. 
Royals clawed back in the game with three quick strikes, M Farooq was sent packing for 7 by Arham while pacer M Zeeshan ended Thomas’ innings by having him caught by Arham for 58. Zeeshan bowled a hostile 18th over in which he got rid of Haseeb Khan for 6 with Warriors needing 18 off the last 12 balls. Captain Abbas Ali and Daud Nazar took 13 runs off the 19th over bowled by Sajjad Ali amid some fielding lapses by Royals fielder. Daud finished the match with a six straight down the ground off the first ball of the final over bowled by Nathan Edward. 
Earlier put into bat, Bahawalpur Royals scored 145 for 4 in 20 overs with Ali Razzaq hitting 44, Shawaiz Irfan 26 and Farhan Yousaf 24 not out. Abbas, Haseeb, Abidullah and Nabeel took a wicket apiece for the Warriors. Both Royals and Warriors have four points from three games and are placed first and third on the points table. Gwadar Sharks occupy second spot. 

Scores in brief

MARDAN WARRIORS 147-5, 19.1 overs (George Thomas 58, Shahzaib Khan 32; M Zeeshan 2-17, Arham Nawab 2-31) beat BAHAWALPUR ROYALS 145-4, 20 overs (Ali Razzaq 44, Shawaiz Irfan 26; Abbas Ali 1-14, Haseeb Khan 1-15) by 5 wickets.

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