RAWALPINDI, Sep 27 (APP): All-rounder Hussain Talat made a contribution with the bat, ball and in the field to spearhead home city Central Punjab’s 43-run win over the defending champions Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the eighth fixture of the National T20 played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi on Sunday night.
After scoring an enterprising half-century, Hussain took two superb catches in the outfield before rounding-off his day with the crucial wicket of Sahibzada Farhan to ensure a much-needed win for his side.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were pegged back at the start of their 172-run chase as openers Israrullah and Mohammad Rizwan fell cheaply. Adil Amin and Musadiq Ahmed both fell ducks as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa crashed to 19 for four inside the first five overs.
Farhan (34 off 30 balls, three fours, one six) and Iftikhar Ahmed (22) tried to rescue the side with a 49-run fifth-wicket alliance, Iftikhar was dismissed by Wahab Riaz after hitting him for three consecutive boundaries.
All-rounder Mohammad Wasim Jnr used the long handle effectively in his 34 0ff 19 balls (three fours, three sixes). Wasim was also dismissed by Wahab who followed that up by sending back Asif Afridi in the same over.
Shaheen Shah Afridi was the last wicket to fall with Ahmed Shehzad taking a smart catch in the outfield, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were bowled out for 128 with 10 balls left unused.
Wahab took three wickets for 21 runs.
Earlier, Central Punjab captain Babar Azam won the toss and opted to bat first. Babar and Ahmed got the team to a flying start, the 42-run partnership ended with Babar’s dismissal for 16.
Ahmed scored 40 off 36 balls (four fours, one six). Muhammad Akhlaq contributed 24 off 19 balls (three fours).
Hussain took the attack to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bowlers and after surviving a drop catch played a series of attacking shots all around the wicket. The left-hander added 75 runs for the fourth-wicket with the seasoned Shoaib Malik who was making his first appearance for Central Punjab. Hussain was dismissed by Shaheen for 51 off 26 balls (five fours, three sixes).
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bowlers tightened the screws in the last two overs as Central Punjab could only add 10 runs while losing three wickets. Shoaib made 24 off 20 balls, Shaheen finished with two wickets for 39 runs. Israrullah, Asif, Wasim Jnr and Arshad Iqbal took a wicket apiece.
Meanwhile, the tournament enters a two-day break from tomorrow. A transfer window would be opened tomorrow (Monday) through which the coaches of the six teams can swap players who have not yet made an appearance in the tournament. The coaches will make the transfers in a meeting on Monday. The transfer window process will be supervised by Director High Performance Nadeem Khan and Chief Selector Muhammad Wasim.
This move has been designed to ensure maximum participation of players especially the ones who have warmed the bench so far.
Scores in Brief:
Home City Central Punjab beat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by 43 runs.
Home City Central Punjab 171-6, 20 overs (Hussain Talat 51, Ahmed Shehzad 40, Muhammad Akhlaq 24; Shaheen Shah Afridi 2-39).
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 128 all out, 18.2 overs (Mohammad Wasim Jnr 34, Sahibzada Farhan 34; Wahab Riaz 3-21)
Player of the match: Hussain Talat
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