Saif Ullah Khan
Northern and Central Punjab joined table-toppers Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the Pakistan Cup powered by Servis Tyres – One-Day Tournament 2020-21 semi-finals after beating Southern Punjab and Sindh respectively in the tenth-round matches in Karachi.
Sindh will play Central Punjab in the first semi-final on Friday 29 January while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa take on Northern in the second semi-final on Saturday 30 January. Both semi-finals will be played at State Bank Stadium.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Balochistan – State Bank Stadium:
Centuries by Adil Amin (sixth List A hundred) and young wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Haris (maiden List A hundred) took Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to their formidable 370 for nine score. The two added 227 runs for the sixth-wicket to rescue their side from a wobbly position of 99 for five.
Adil faced 90 balls and struck nine fours and five sixes in his whirlwind batting effort. Haris provided him immensely valuable support, he hit 11 fours and two sixes in his 75-ball innings. Fast bowler Mohammad Wasim Jnr hit a breezy 24 off 10 balls as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finished with huge score.
Pacers Gohar Faiz and Taj Wali took four and three wickets respectively for Balochistan.
Balochistan’s Imran Farhat signed-off from professional cricket with a scintillating 123 off 88 balls. The left-hander who was making his last-ever appearance hit 17 fours and three sixes as Balochistan fell a mere 23 runs short of the target as they were bowled out for 347 in 47 overs.
After adding 119 runs with Bismillah Khan (42) for the first-wicket, Imran added 90 runs for the second-wicket with Haris Sohail (40).
Akbar-ur-Rehman (50 off 52 balls, three fours) and Ayaz Tassawar (53 off 49 balls, four fours, one six) scored half-centuries for Balochistan but they failed to take their side to the target. Balochistan lost their last seven wickets for addition of 27 runs as the lower-order failed in their pursuit of quick runs.
Balochistan who finished with six points were already out of contention for the semi-finals before the match began.
Northern vs Southern Punjab –UBL Sports Complex:
Northern won the toss and opted to bat first. Rohail Nazir top-scored with 88 off 71 balls, the wicketkeeper-batsman struck seven fours and five sixes in his innings. Rohail added 138 runs for the fourth-wicket with Umar Amin who scored 83 off 78 balls with the help of 10 fours.
Hammad Azam and Mubasir Khan scored 39 and 30 respectively using the long handle effectively as they helped Northern amass 337 for eight in 50 overs.
Leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood took three wickets while Mohammad Abbas took two wickets.
Southern Punjab’s chase started positively as captain Shan Masood and Mukhtar Ahmed added 127 runs for the first-wicket. Mukhtar was dismissed for 63, his innings included five fours and two sixes.
Southern Punjab started losing wickets at regular intervals after 53-run stand between Shan and Sohaib Maqsood (22) for the second-wicket was broken. Shan held the innings together and kept scoring runs at one end on his way to 141 off 128 balls, however his dismissal ended Southern Punjab’s hopes.
Shan’s innings included 12 fours, Salman Irshad, Musa Khan and Hammad Azam took two wickets each for Northern.
By virtue of their victory Northern who finished with 10 points qualified for the semi-finals, while Southern Punjab were knocked out.
Sindh vs Central Punjab –NBP Sports Complex:
Khurram Manzoor’s 27th List A century helped Sindh reach 277 for six in 50 overs. Khurram remained undefeated facing 163 balls for his 143 that included 15 fours and one six.
Khurram added 159 runs for the third-wicket with Asad Shafiq who scored 85 off 93 balls with the help of seven fours.
Saad Ali with 18 runs was the next best contributor for Sindh as Khurram dominated the innings. Pacers Ahmed Bashir and Mohammad Ali took two wickets each, spinner Zafar Gohar also took two wickets while conceding 37 runs.
Central Punjab had to fight hard in their chase and pursuit of a semi-final spot as they took 48.3 overs to reach the target. Opener Tayyab Tahir top-scored with 93 off 102 balls, his innings included eight fours and two sixes.
Raza Ali Dar scored 71 off 72 balls with the help of one four and two sixes to provide valuable middle-order support during the Central Punjab chase.
Young all-rounder Qasim Akram remained unbeaten with 44 off 40 balls as he guided his side to the target along with Zafar Gohar who scored a brisk unbeaten 28 off 13 balls (two fours, two sixes). The two added 52 runs for the seventh-wicket.
Left-arm-spinners Mohammad Asghar and Hassan Khan took two wickets each for Sindh. Khurram was named player-of-the-match.
Scores in brief:
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa beat Balochistan by 23 runs at the State Bank Stadium
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 370-9, 50 overs (Adil Amin 121, Mohammad Haris 100; Gohar Faiz 4-66, Taj Wali 3-70)
Balochistan 347 all out, 47 overs (Imran Farhat 123, Ayaz Tassawar 53, Akbar-ur-Rehman 50; Imran Khan Snr 4-58, Asif Afridi 2-54)
Players-of-the-Match: Adil Amin and Imran Khan Snr
Northern beat Southern Punjab by 44 runs at the UBL Sports Complex
Northern 337-8, 50 overs (Rohail Nazir 88, Umar Amin 83, Hammad Azam39, Taimoor Sultan 35, Mubasir Khan 30; Zahid Mahmood 3-49, Mohammad Abbas 2-66)
Southern Punjab 293 all out, 46.3 overs (Shan Masood 141, Mukhtar Ahmed 63; Salman Irshad 2-47, Musa Khan 2-48, Hammad Azam 2-59)
Player-of-the-Match: Rohail Nazir
Central Punjab beat Sindh by four wickets at the NBP Sports Complex
Sindh 277-6, 50 overs (Khurram Manzoor 143 not out, Asad Shafiq 85; Zafar Gohar 2-37, Ahmed Bashir 2-50, Mohammad Ali 2-61)
Central Punjab 283-6, 48.3 overs (Tayyab Tahir 93, Raza Ali Dar 71, Qasim Akram 44 not out; Hassan Khan 2-53, Mohammad Asghar 2-57)
Player-of-the-Match: Khurram Manzoor
First semi-final 29 January 2021
Sindh vs Central Punjab – State Bank Stadium
Second semi-final 30 January 2021
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Northern – State Bank Stadium