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Despite the third-party interference via violent, betting mediums in or against Pakistan Cricket, the anticipated National T20 Cup 2021 has become the most celebrated and cherished tournament of the nation’s domestic circuit.
The first phase of the contest is flaring up in Rawalpindi with bangs. Daily thrilling encounters fetch up something exciting to keep the devotees, lookouts entertained, and the media to debate about.
Till yet, with doubleheaders going on, the National T20 is down and dusted with eight encounters. The Rawalpindi leg is now left with ten more games to be played between 29th September to 3rd October. Notably, the second-leg will resume by 6th October in Lahore’s Gadaffi cricket ground. Meanwhile, here is a quick look at what has happened till Match 5th to 8th.
National T20 Cup 2021 Match 5, Day 3, Southern Punjab vs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
In most of the looped-up games, teams winning the toss and opting to chase first have ended up as triumphant. The case has rarely been adverse. Mohammad Rizwan and chaps, on winning the toss, elected to bowl first.
They conceded a decent-looking score of 153 runs halting Southern Punjab’s batters on 152. It could not have been as easy as pie but bowlers in black overpowered all of their batsmen. Sohaib’s Mohammad Imran smashed a needed 54 off 46, but it went in vain while Rizwan and chaps comfortably chased the show.
The substandard contributions of Sohaib Maqsood’s batters helped Rizwan’s Imran Khan pick up a four-wicket-haul. Shaheen Shah Afridi struck with three wickets, whereas Mohammad Wasim, Asif Afridi grasped 2, 1 sequentially. Arshad Iqbal, although left wicket-less but was the most economical among the team’s bowling line-up.
The title defenders, upon marching on the field, were with high hopes already. However, Sohaib’s bowlers did everything in their power to halt excessive runs but fell short of picking wickets.
Consequently, it turned out to be a two-man effort for Rizwan’s men. The captain himself contributed with 64 off 47, and Sahibzada Farhan added 73 off 49. The feat came with three wickets down, and two spared deliveries. From the losing edge, Naseem Shah and Faisal Akram could seize 2, 1 wicket, respectively.
Fun fact: Southern Punjab, despite have three middle-order batters from Pakistan T20 World Cup squad. But, yet it does not make them best ones of the National T20.
Check Pakistan WT20 middle-order performances here.
National T20 Cup 2021 Match 6, Day 3, Sindh vs Northern:
The Shadab Khan-led Northern might have taken a pitiful decision to bat first on winning the toss. Or maybe, it is a matter of ‘the one who plays the best, wins the game’ on the Rawalpindi pitch.
The red jerseys could only set up a score of 136, losing all men with three balls to go. Apparently, Sarfaraz Ahmed, who has plenty of achievements in T20 cricket, thumped with his bowlers vs Shadab’s team.
Shahnawaz Dahani, the pride of Sindh, got a three-wicket haul, whereas Mohammad Hasnain, Zahid Mehmood could pluck two wickets. There was a vast difference among the economies of the two bowlers. Rumman Raees, Danish Aziz took one apiece, but Anwar Ali picked none delivering two overs.
The inferior score was probably easy to chase by Sarfaraz’s orange jerseys with loads of batters in order. The chase came up with a boundary on the exact 19th over, sparing four wickets. Sarfaraz, himself, might have played a slow inning of 42 off 41. But, Sharjeel Khan and Anwar Ali with 43 off 25, 31 off 23 are worth mentioning.
Northern’s Haris Rauf, Imad Wasim geared up with two wickets, whereas Sohail Tanvir plucked one. Imad also offered with a runout hitting at Saud Shakeel’s stumps.
National T20 Cup 2021 Day 4, Match 7, Southern Punjab vs Balochistan:
Balochistan, on triumphing the toss, preferred to bowl first. The choice to bowl on winning the toss so far has been profiting the teams. Rarely witnessed yet, teams going to bat on winning the toss have ended up on losing edge.
Balochistan conceded a below-standard target of 102 runs. Imam ul Haq’s bowlers restricted Sohaib Maqsood’s men on 101 with a ball, two overs left.
Ironically, Maqsood was the top scorer from their end with 24 off 19. In contrast, the rest of the batsmen could not surpass 19 runs. The equivalent contributions dragged them on 101. The number visibly was an easy-peasy chase.
The Balochistan bowlers brought up the team’s first win of the National T20 Cup 2021. Amad Butt, Yasir Shah urged with three-wicket hauls for each. Amad, unquestionably, was the best bowler of the competition. Umaid Asif conquered two. Khurram Shehzad, Kashif Bhatti got one for each.
Balochistan batters stepped on the field with high hopes to tally the substandard target. Most of the encounter was finished by Bismillah Khan, Abdul Bangalzai’s libations of 28 off 29, 58 off 55 in sequence.
However, the mark could have been reached around before the 10th or 15th over, but Southern Punjab did all to halt runs except pulling out more of the wickets. Imam ul Haq and batters reached the target in 17.2 overs, dropping three wickets.
National T20 Cup 2021 Day 4, Match 8, Central Punjab vs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
The case, winning the toss, opting to bowl, and finally winning the game, turned upside down this time. Babar Azam selected to bat on prevailing the toss and accomplished the game too.
Babar vs Rizwan earlier happened on 23rd September, Thursday. Rizwan got all that time. Babar made sure not to let go of the things this time and fastened up 172 runs for Rizwan’s chaps to prey for. The game fell in Central Punjab’s laps by 43 runs.
Central Punjab’s batters got all the potent to finish the game one sidedly despite losing end’s Wasim, Sahibzada’s 34 apiece. Look at Hussain Talat’s majestic performances as an all-rounder:
Rizwan bowlers could pluck out six of the Babar’s fellows as Israullah, Wasim Jnr, Arshad Iqbal, and Asif Afridi got 1 for each. Shaheen Shah Afridi, always shining, socked with two wickets.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, moving on the ground to bat, crumpled on a low score of 128 with an over and four balls left. The opponent bowlers, reviving the last defeat versus the black jerseys, controlled the things to stable their rivalry with 1-1. Central Punjab, when played their last game, hardly triumphed. If it was not Wahab Riaz vs Junaid Khan in the last over, the game could have been of Junaid’s team.
Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Ahsan Adil, Husain Talat, and Qasim Akram pulled one wicket for an individual whereas, Wahab Riaz got one. Adil participated in one of the two runouts as Ahmed Shehzad did the other one.
You can see: