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Peshawar, Lahore Blues clinch easy wins

Peshawar, Lahore Blues clinch easy wins

RAWALPINDI: Peshawar registered their second successive victory while Lahore Blues celebrated first win in the two matches decided in the Cool & Cool presents Jazz National T20 Cup at the Pindi Cricket Stadium here on Monday.

After a two-day break, the competition began on a breathtaking note when Peshawar outclassed Islamabad quite comprehensively in the afternoon fixture by 36 runs.

Naeem Anjum’s decision to field first at the toss backfired as Riffatullah Mohmand and Israrullah blazed their way to 76 before Israrullah was dismissed by discarded Pakistan spinner Abdur Rehman for a 33-ball 42 that included five fours and two sixes.

Fakhar Zaman perished after making only 13 but his departure brought together Riffatullah and Sohaib Maqsood in a rollicking partnership of 68 with both completing half-centuries.

Junaid Khan, the out-of-favour Pakistan seamer, dismissed both men on the final two deliveries of the innings. Riffatullah holed out to deep square-leg after striking nine boundaries in his 66 from 51 balls. Man-of-the-match Sohaib, who bludgeoned a quickfire 51 off just 22 balls with the aid of five fours and three sixes, was then nicely taken low at deep midwicket by Ali Sarfraz.

Islamabad never really threatened to get even close to the 177-run target as regular wickets halted their progress at a rapid pace. Apart from Imam-ul-Haq (an unbeaten 34 off 25 balls, three boundaries), Afaq Raheem (34 off 32, two sixes and one four) and Adil Amin (32 off 25, two sixes and one four), no one else passed 30.

The left-arm duo of spinner Imran Khalid and paceman Imran Khan Jr returned identical figures of 2-22 from their four overs.

After being trounced by nine wickets against Lahore Whites on Thursday’s opening day of the tournament, Lahore Blues restored their pride when they overcame a jittery start to beat Fata by six wickets.

Chasing 140, Lahore Blues were reeling at 14-3 with captain Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed and Nauman Anwar all gone.

But Saad Nasim then joined Naved Yasin to put Lahore Blues back on road with a stand of 76. Naved departed after scoring 38 (33 balls, five fours) but man-of-the-match Saad saw his side home with unbeaten 66 (39 balls, five sixes and four fours) as he and Raza Ali Dar (30 off 15, two sixes and one six) put on 53 in only 26 balls.

At the time of filing this report Monday’s last game between Rawalpindi and Karachi Blues was in progress.

Monday’s results:

Lahore Blues beat Fata by six wickets.

FATA 139-7 in 20 overs (Fawad Khan 38, Aamir Yamin 21 not out, Bilal Asif 17, Yasir Hameed 16; Zafar Gohar 2-22, Fahim Ashraf 2-28); LAHORE BLUES 143-4 in 18.5 overs (Saad Nasim 66 not out, Naved Yasin 38, Raza Ali Dar 30 not out).

Peshawar beat Islamabad by 36 runs.

PESHAWAR 176-4 in 20 overs (Riffatullah Mohmand 66, Sohaib Maqsood 51, Israrullah 42; Junaid Khan 2-39); ISLAMABAD 140-5 in 20 overs (Afaq Raheem 34, Imam-ul-Haq 34 not out, Adil Amin 32, Raheel Majeed 21; Imran Khalid 2-22, Imran Khan Jr 2-22).—Kashif Abbasi

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2016

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