Haider Ali’s dazzling 86 scored a 39-run win for Northern against Balochistan in the 27th game of the T20 Cup First XI National Tournament held on Thursday at Pindi Cricket Stadium. This was Northern’s seventh win in nine games.
Balochistan v Northern | National T20 Cup 2020
The right-handed batsman, along with Ali Imran, who shot 41 of 22 after three sixes and four fours, made for a brilliant start to Northern with a 92-run opening score of just 8.3 overs.
He then weathered the storm in a 50-man alliance that consisted of 26 balls with Shadab Khan, after Northern with the layoffs of Sohail Akhtar (one of two) and Asif Ali (three of seven) in nine balls for three to 101 slipped.
Haider was sacked by Akhtar Shah and promoted after an impressive run in the second XI National T20 Cup on the last ball of the 15th over in Balochistan’s first XI team runs with a batting average of 172. He was later named Man of the Game.
This marked the tournament’s 20-year-old’s second half century and the fourth of his entire T20 career, and it proved instrumental in helping Northern, the league leaders, hit an impressive 199 for six.
Haider Ali Said:
“I am very happy that I received a Man of the Game award in my home country. I’m making a comeback so it was important to me to adapt to the conditions.
“Opening the eyelash helped me in that regard as I had plenty of time to read it before I played my strokes free.”
After Haider’s layoff, Shadab, who had done 15 out of 10 by then, took over the lead when he ended up on 42 instead of 27.
Baluchistan’s Amad Butt took two wickets for 29 runs.
In response, Balochistan collapsed after a 69-minute opening booth between Imam-ul-Haq and Awais Zia. The partnership was broken in the eighth game when Imam, who scored the highest innings score with 35 balls out of 21, ran out.
Shadab’s leg spin exacerbated Balochistan when the 22-year-old sacked Awais (34 of 27, two fours and two sixes) and Bismillah Khan (0 of 1) on two consecutive balls in the ninth game.
This was followed by a 37-year partnership between Haris Sohail and Abdul Wahid Bangalzai for the fourth wicket. But that couldn’t help Balochistan get back into the game as they couldn’t recover from the earlier breakdown and missed 39 runs.
Shadab and Mohammad Ismail from Northern finished with two wickets apiece.