Fast bowler Ahmed Bashir achieved his career-best numbers (four for 23) when Central Punjab earned the much-needed two points in the 22nd game of the National T20 Cup for the first XI teams with a comfortable win over nine wickets against Baluchistan at Rawalpindi Cricket scored stadium on Monday evening.
Central Punjab v Balochistan | Pakistan National T20 Cup 2020 Match 22 Highlights
24-year-old Ahmed, who took three wickets in his first tournament appearance against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last Tuesday in Multan, took his tournament record from just two games to seven wickets, doing a good bowling performance on an offered place with some support for both seafarers as well as for weirdos, as Balochistan was limited to 125 for eight of 20 overs.
The Central Punjab batsmen then rolled past the target and captain Babar Azam made another entry in the record books by hitting 1000 runs in the National T20 Cup in just 27 innings (fastest ever). Babar didn’t follow up on his 86 and 86 in the last two games with an exquisite undefeated 64-run innings (40 balls, nine fours, two sixes).
Babar added 86 runs for the first wicket with Kamran Akmal in just 9.4 overs, Kamran was sacked by Amad Butt for 33 (27 balls, six fours).
Babar and Abdullah Shafiq finished the game with 38 balls and an unbeaten stand on the second wicket of 41 runs. Abdullah scored 27 of 15 balls (four fours).
Ahmed Bashir said (Man Of The Match):
“The playing field supports the bowlers here because it is a faster playing field compared to Multan. The captain and trainer told me to roll like on the field. I’ve also bowled slower and Yorkers as they directed and got the results I wanted for my team. “
Central Punjab asked Balochistan to strike first after winning the throw. Balochistan was rocked early in its innings when off-spinner Qasim Akram dismissed Imam-ul-Haq (5) and his Pakistani U19 team-mate Abdul Wahid Bangalzai (0) in the third run of consecutive balls. Qasim, who bowled brilliantly with the new ball, conceded only seven goals in his opening spell with just three runs.
At the other end, Ahmed Bashir sent opener Awais Zia (5) to pack on the fifth ball of the sixth ball when Balochistan fell by the wayside at 20 for three. The situation worsened for the batting team when Bismillah Khan was sacked by leg spinner Usman Qadir for eleven runs.
Akbar-ur-Rehman (19) added 44 runs for the fifth wicket with his captain Haris Sohail before falling to Bashir.
Haris scored the first hit with 41 of 36 balls (three fours, three sixes). He became Bashir’s fourth victim after the right-winger was responsible for Amad Butt (15) two balls earlier.
Meanwhile, Central Punjab has six points from eight games (three wins, five losses), while Balochistan has eight points from as many games (four wins, four losses).