Southern Punjab, Northern storm into National T20 2nd XI final
KARACHI (92 News) – Southern Punjab and Northern booked their spots in the final of the National T20 2nd XI tournament after defeating Central Punjab and Sindh respectively in the semi-finals played at the National Stadium, Karachi on Wednesday.
The final match will be played at the same venue on Thursday.
In the first semi-final, Central Punjab won the toss and opted to bat first. Southern Punjab’s opener Zeeshan Ashraf continued his prolific run in the tournament, the left-hander who had hit a century in his team’s first match scored 90 off 56 balls, studded with seven fours and four sixes.
Zeeshan, later adjudged man-of-the-match, added 128 runs for the second wicket with Zain Abbas who made 51 off 39 balls, his innings included four fours and one six. Ehsan Adil took three while Asad Raza took two wickets for Central Punjab.
Central Punjab fought hard in reply, opener Usman Sallahuddin scored 61 off 51 balls with the help of four fours and one six. Captain Ali Waqas scored 33 while Raza Ali Dar tried his best to keep Central in the hunt with a quickfire 12-ball 29 (three fours, two sixes).
Central Punjab ended their 20 overs at 171 for seven; Southern Punjab’s Zulfiqar Babar took three while Muhammad Imran took two wickets.
In the second semi-final, batting first, Sindh amassed 188 for seven. Opener Ammad Alam led the way with a 46-ball 81. The right-hander hit nine fours and three sixes in his innings. Rameez Aziz upped the ante towards the end of the innings with a 29-ball 49 that included three fours and two sixes.
Shehzad Azam took three wickets for 31 runs.
Northern fought back brilliantly with the bat to snatch a most unlikely win. Reduced t0 144 for seven in the 17th over, Northern were down and out when Shehzad (32 not out, 10 balls, two fours and three sixes) joined hands with Jamal Anwar (27 not out, 14balls, three sixes) as the home side were left stunned. The two batsmen unleashed some big hits to chase down the 189-run target with three balls to spare.
Other than the heroics by Shehzad and Jamal, Northern were well served by opener Zeeshan Malik who made 58 off 43 balls with the help of six fours and one six. Left-arm spinner Hassan Khan took three wickets for Sindh.
For his all-round match winning effort Shehzad was named Man-of-the-Match.
Scores in brief:
1st Semi-Final Central Punjab v Southern Punjab, National Stadium, Karachi
Southern Punjab 184 for 5, 20 overs (Zeeshan Ashraf 90, Zain Abbas 51; Ehsan Adil 3-40, Asad Raza 2-45)
Central Punjab 171 for 7, 20 overs (Usman Sallahuddin 61, Ali Waqas 33; Zulfiqar Babar 3-34, Muhammad Imran 2-22)
Man-of-the-Match Zeeshan Ashraf
Result: Southern Punjab won by 13 runs
2nd Semi-Final Sindh v Northern, National Stadium, Karachi
Sindh 188 for 7, 20 overs (Ammad Alam 81, Rameez Aziz 49; Shehzad Azam 3-31)
Northern 191 for 7, 19.3 overs (Zeeshan Malik 58, Shehzad Azam 37 not out, Jamal Anwar 27 not out; Hassan Khan 3-29)
Man-of-the-Match Shehzad Azam
Result: Northern won by three wickets