By Sohail Ali
LAHORE, Sep 21 (APP): The 18th edition of the National T20 will begin from 23 September in Rawalpindi and will finish in Lahore with the final at the Gaddafi Stadium on 13 October.
The tournament, since its inception in 2005, has been one of the key features of Pakistan’s domestic cricket and this year will also serve as robust preparation for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
Statistician Mazher Arshad takes a look at statistical history of the tournament which was made available to APP here on Tuesday.
Most successful team:
Sialkot Stallions are the most successful team in the tournament winning it on six occasions [in 2006 twice, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011]. The next best region is Lahore who have won the title on five occasions – Lahore Lions thrice, Lahore Blues and Lahore Whites once each.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, also the defending champions as they won the final against Southern Punjab in 2020, are the third most successful region in a way that their city Peshawar has also won National T20 twice (in 2014 and 2015).
The remaining three titles have gone to Faisalabad Wolves (2005), Karachi Blues (2016) and Northern (2019).
Khurram Manzoor, who is playing for Sindh, is the most prolific batsman in the tournament history with 2643 runs. He is also the only batsman with 4 centuries in National T20.
There are three more batsmen – Kamran Akmal 2377, Shoaib Malik 2217, Umar Amin 2047 – with 2000 plus runs while the two closest to this milestone are Mohammad Hafeez (1991 runs) and Sohaib Maqsood (1883). Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain Mohammad Rizwan (967) will also be looking to complete 1000 runs milestone.
Saeed Ajmal, is the most successful bowler in the National T20 with 89 wickets, three of them coming in a player-of-the-match effort in Faisalabad Wolves’ win in the final against Karachi Dolphins in 2005.
At least two bowlers, Wahab Riaz (81 wickets) and Anwar Ali (79), will be looking to break Ajmal’s record in this year’s tournament. Both also have a realistic chance of becoming first bowler with 100 wickets in the tournament.
Mohammad Hafeez (49 wickets) is one scalp away from becoming the first with a double of 1000 runs and 50 wickets in National T20.
Sohaib Maqsood, who hit 20 sixes in the previous edition of the tournament and helped Southern Punjab reach the final, is the most prolific six hitter in National T20 with 91 maximums. The next best is Northern’s hard-hitting batsman Asif Ali who has hit 86 sixes. Both are within a good distance of becoming the first to 100 sixes in National T20.
If anyone comes close to breaking Khushdil Shah’s fastest 100 recorded then we are in for a treat this time too. Last year, playing for Southern Punjab, Khushdil recorded a 100 off 35 balls against Sindh in Rawalpindi and broke Umar Akmal’s 43-ball hundred National T20 record.
It was also the fastest 100 scored by any batsman from Pakistan in 20 overs cricket. Khushdil hit 25 sixes last year, the most by anyone in the 2020 edition.
The only individual innings of 150 runs by a Pakistani batsman also came in this tournament when Kamran Akmal hit an unbeaten 150 for Lahore Whites against Islamabad in Rawalpindi in 2017. Twelve sixes in that innings is also a tournament record.
The next two highest scores below to Mukhtar Ahmed – 123 for Sialkot in 2015 and 117 for FATA in in 2017 (both against Karachi Whites). Each of the top three highest scores in NationalT20 have come at Pindi Cricket Stadium.
Best bowling performances:
Irfan-ud-din’s record of 6 wickets for 25 runs is unbroken for 15 years. Karachi Dolphins’ off-break bowler made this record against Sialkot Stallions in Karachi in 2006. The best bowling figures by a fast bowler belongs to Mohammad Asif, who playing for Stallions took 5 wickets for 11 runs against Faisalabad Wolves in 2006.
With Shaheen Afridi taking two five-fors in last year’s National T20 and Wahab Riaz one, we can expect some more big bowling performances this year.
National T20 winners:
2005 Faisalabad Wolves
2006 Sialkot Stallions
2006 Sialkot Stallions
2008 Sialkot Stallions
2009 Sialkot Stallions
2010 Sialkot Stallions
2010 Lahore Lions
2011 Sialkot Stallions
2012 Lahore Lions
2014 Lahore Lions
2014 Peshawar Panthers
2016 Karachi Blues
2017 Lahore Blues
2018 Lahore Whites
2020 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.