Faisalabad, 13 October 2019: Sindh secured a thrilling win over Central Punjab by chasing down a 189-run target on the penultimate ball in the second fixture of the National T20 Cup at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium.
With a 42-ball 50, Khurram Manzoor provided a firm start to Sindh’s run-chase.
But with the fall of the right-handed batsman’s wicket on the fourth ball of the 12th over, the team looked down and out of the contest as the scorecard read 87 for three, with 102 runs remaining from 50 balls.
But Sindh captain Asad Shafiq and Sarfaraz Ahmed kept their side’s chances alive, scoring 45 and 30 at a strike rate of 196 and 167 respectively.
The pair knitted a 49-run stand for the fourth wicket from 20 balls, laying the groundwork for Anwar Ali (22 not out off 10 balls) to complete the chase.
For Central Punjab, Waqas Maqsood was the pick of the bowlers taking three wickets for 32 runs. The other notable contributions with the ball came from Usman Qadir and Faheem Ashraf as both took two wickets each leaking 30 and 32.
The run-chase eclipsed a brilliant Babar Azam century.
The Central Punjab captain scored an unbeaten 102 off 59 balls, embellished with seven fours and five sixes, after electing to bat first.
Central Punjab lost two quick wickets in the latter half of the powerplay overs as Ahmed Shehzad (8 off 13) and Kamran Akmal (4 off 5) went back to pavilion in a span of nine balls.
Babar crafted partnerships of 89 and 63 runs, the last one unbeaten, with Umar Akmal (34 off 28) and Rizwan Hussain (31 not out from 15 balls) to put an imposing score of 188 for three in 20 overs.
Scores in brief:
Central Punjab 188-3, 20 overs (Babar Azam 102 not out, Umar Akmal 34, Rizwan Hussain 31 not out; Mohammad Hasnain 2-32)
Sindh 192-7, 19.5 overs (Khurram Manzoor 50, Asad Shafiq 45, Sarfaraz Ahmed 30, Anwar Ali 22; Waqas Maqsood 3-32, Usman Qadir 2-30, Faheem Ashraf 2-32)