Inspired by the sparkling half centuries of veterans Shoaib Malik and Fakhar Zaman, followed by a disciplined bowling streak led by Shaheen Shah Afridi (three for 36) and Wahab Riaz (three for 36), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa helped the National T20- Cup for the first XI teams to win Southern Punjab in a highly competitive final at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recorded a 10-run win as her bowlers successfully defended a 206-run score.
SP v KP | Pakistan National T20 Cup 2020 Final Match Highlights
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, led by Mohammad Rizwan, received a prize of PKR 5 million, while southern Punjab, led by Shan Masood, pocketed PKR 2.5 million.
Southern Punjab got off to a bad start on Sunday night when the tournament’s top wicket taker, Shaheen (20 wickets), Shan (7) and Sohaib Maqsood (0) grabbed the first three overs. Big hitter Zeeshan Ashraf was killed trying to get a big shot from Wahab to rock his side at 34 for three in 5.2 overs.
Hussain Talat and Khushdil Shah brought Southern Punjab back to the hunt with a 74-year partnership of just 43 balls. Usman Khan Shinwari hit a crucial blow at the time when he dismissed Khushdil, who was cleverly caught by Fakhar for 34 balls out of 24 (two fours, three sixes).
Hussain fought hard for southern Punjab with 63 of 33 balls. The left-hander hit six fours and three sixs before Malik was interrupted on the long border off Wahab by a brilliant dive catch from Malik. Hussain’s release staggered Southern Punjab to 131 for five and required 76 more balls out of 34.
Saif Badar died cheaply for five runs; Aamer Yamin dropped to Wahab for 13 when the match got out of reach of Southern Punjab. The all-rounder Muhammad Imran played some big shots at the end of the innings, the right-hander did not finish 38 (13 balls, four sixes, two fours)
Southern Punjab finished their innings at 196 for eight.
“I think your goal is to always do your best, sometimes you do it well, sometimes you don’t. I want to thank my management, especially coach Abdul Razzaq and captain Mohammad Rizwan, for supporting me, When I needed their support the most. The opponents are hitting very deep so we wanted to post a large sum today, I wanted to hit deep and keep attacking. Our bowlers got early wickets which really helped set up the win. I supported myself in hitting and I am glad that my contribution helped the team. “
Asked to hit first, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa started his innings on the positive. Openers Fakhar and Rizwan added 76 runs for the first wicket in 9.3 overs. Rizwan was assumed to be a direct throw from wicketkeeper Zeeshan for 25 of 30 balls (one four, one six).
Fakhar, who overtook Khurram Manzoor as the tournament’s highest run-getter (420 runs, 35 Avg, 147.88 SR, five 50s) in the course of his 67 innings, hit a typically aggressive half a century before being dismissed by Aamer. He faced 40 balls and hit seven fours and three sixs.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa then lost to Iftikhar Ahmed (1) to leg spinner Zahid Mahmood, who left them behind to 126 in 14.4overs for three.
At that point, two veteran activists Mohammad Hafeez and Malik made the most of some field and fan rounds from the southern Punjab fielders to add 51 runs in just 26 balls.
Hafeez was sacked for 38 of 26 balls (two fours, two sixs). Malik, who had 10,000 T20 runs over the course of the tournament, played a great inning to push Khyber Pakhtunkhwa past the 200-run mark. The right-hander hit four sixes and three fours with 22 balls in his undefeated 56-run innings.
Malik’s attack helped Khyber Pakhtunkhwa add 73 runs in the last four overs. Zahid, Aamer and Imran took one wicket apiece for Southern Punjab.