LAHORE - Rawalakot Hawks won the first edition of Kashmir Premier League (KPL), where they have beaten Muzaffarabad Tigers by 7 runs to clinch the coveted trophy. 

According to information made available here, Asif Afridi held his nerves in the final over where he had to defend just 10 in the last over while a brilliant half century of Kashif Ali helped Hawks post 169 on the board. In the KPL 2021 final, Muzaffarabad Tigers elected to ball first after winning the toss but failed to get early wickets as Hawks posted 53 by 6.4 overs when Mohammad Hafeez came up with a breakthrough, sending Umar Amin packing. Usama Mir bowled Amin’s fellow opener Bismillah Khan without allowing them to add a run that brought two fresh batsmen of Rawalakot Hawks at the crease. 

Hussain Talat also threw a catch to Anwar Ali on a delivery of Hafeez in the 9th over. Danish Aziz got out for just 4 while Sahibzada Farhan also could score just 28 off 21. Kashif Ali played a fantastic knock of 54 off 28 with 5 fours and 3 sixes while Mohammad Imran Randhawa tried to help his side with his unbeaten 17 off 12 balls. Rawalakot Hawks reached 169 in 20 overs while Usama Mir and Mohammad Hafeez took two wickets each. 

Chasing the 170-run target, Muzaffarabad Tigers got off to a cracking start as the team crossed 50 inside the first 6 overs. Mohammad Hafeez got out on the 4th delivery of the 6th over after scoring 29 off 21 while Zeeshan Ashraf produced another good partnership alongside Sohaib Maqsood. Zeeshan lost his wicket for 46 in the 9th over when Tigers had reached 88. He scored 46 off 26 with 4 fours and 4 maximums. After dismissing Zeeshan, Shahid Afridi came up with another breakthrough when he got rid of the dangerous Sohaib Maqsood who could score just 15. 

Hussain Talat sent Anwar Ali and Sohail Akhtar packing from the other end. On the 5th delivery of the 18th over, Talat got his third wicket, this time dismissed Sohail Tanvir for 21, finishing his spell of 4 overs with the figure of 3 for 18. Mohammad Irfan Jr bolwed an expensive second last over and Asif Afridi had just 10 runs to defend in the last over. Asif bolwed Inzamam for 12 off 5 and Usama Mir for a golden duck while Mohammad Wasim Jr, who remained off strike for most of the last over, got run out in the same over. 

M Wasim Jr scored 22 off 12 with 1 four and 2 sixes but could not change their fortunes in the last over where Asif Afridi successfully defended 10 runs. Asif Afridi got 3 wickets for 22 while Shahid Afridi also dismissed two important players of Tigers’ top order. Due to his brilliant spell and a successful last over, Asif Afridi earned man of the match award in the final of KPL 2021.

SCORES IN BRIEF

RAWALAKOT HAWKS: 169/7 in 20 ov (Kashif Ali 54, Bismillah Khan 30, Sahibzada Farhan 28; Usama Mir 2/25, Mohammad Hafeez 2/26) beat MUZAFFARABAD TIGERS: 161/9 in 20 ov (Zeeshan Ashraf 46, M Hafeez 25, Sohail Tanvir 21; Hussain Tallat 3/18, Asif Afridi 3/21, Shahid Afridi 2/32).