LAHORE - Three wickets apiece from Pakistan internationals Aamer Yamin and Waqas Maqsood and an unbeaten 41 runs from Tayyab Tahir led Central Punjab to a four-wicket win over Southern Punjab in the 23rd fixture of the Kingdom Valley National T20 Cup 2022-23 here at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. 

Central Punjab came back stronger after losing to Southern Punjab in the Rawalpindi leg by 86 runs on 2 September. This was Central Punjab’s third victory in the tournament – second in the Multan leg. Chasing 107 to win, Central Punjab scored at over seven runs an over in the powerplay, but also lost three wickets to keep Southern Punjab interested in the low-scoring game. 

That Central Punjab were able to chase down the target in the 17th over was due to an unbeaten knock from right-handed Tayyab – who scored 41 off 34 and smashed five fours and one six. Tayyab also leads the batting charts with 351 runs from eight innings at a strike rate of 139.84. Southern Punjab’s right-arm pacers Muhammad Imran and Sameen Gul took two wickets each. 

Earlier, after being put into bat by Central Punjab’s captain Qasim Akram, Southern Punjab wobbled at the top of the innings when they slumped to 39 for four in the ninth over. Sharoon Siraj – who has scored one half-century in the tournament - was joined by Yousuf Babar and the pair added 35 runs for the fifth wicket that was the highest partnership of the innings. After the departure of Sharoon, who scored 21-ball 21 runs, wrapped with one four and one six, Southern Punjab lost wickets at regular intervals and were dismissed for 106 in the last over. 

For Central Punjab, Aamer and Waqas bagged three wickets apiece for 16 and 21 runs, respectively. Right-arm fast Hunain Shah – playing his second T20 bagged two wickets for 22. Later tonight, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will take on Sindh in the 24th fixture of the tournament.

Scores in brief

CENTRAL PUNJAB 110-6, 16.5 overs (Tayyab Tahir 41 not out; Muhammad Imran 2-18, Sameen Gul 2-22) beat SOUTHERN PUNJAB 106 all out, 19.2 overs (Zain Abbas 25, Yousuf Babar 22, Sharoon Siraj 21; Aamer Yamin 3-16, Waqas Maqsood 3-21, Hunain Shah 2-22) by 4 wickets.