RAWALPINDI: Southern Punjab stunned defending champions Northern by seven wickets today (Saturday) to book a slot in the final of the National T20 Cup.
Chasing a target of 161, Southern Punjab’s openers, Shan Masood and Zeeshan Ashraf made a solid start and stitched together a partnership of 91 runs off 62 deliveries.
Zeeshan Ashraf led the early onslaught making 55 runs off 32 deliveries before being removed by fast-bowler Musa Khan.
However, Southern Punjab captain Masood continued to capitalise on the start and scored an unbeaten 79-run knock. Meanwhile, Sohaib Maqsood (16 off 18) provided valuable support from the other end.
Northern’s Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf managed to remove Maqsood and batsman Khushdil Shah (1) towards the end to little avail as Southern Punjab crossed the finishing line with eight deliveries to spare.
Earlier, Northern won the toss and elected to bat first. Opener Zeeshan Malik (16) was the first to depart after being removed by fast-bowler Mohammad Abbas.
Ali Imran scored a half-century off 35 deliveries but fell soon. The prolific Haider Ali (18) was removed by spinner Zahid Mehmood. Northern were then further jolted when batsman Asif Ali was removed by the same bowler for a golden duck.
Captain Imad Wasim’s managed just 19 runs after facing 20 deliveries. Shadab however was at the top of his game and scored an unbeaten 48-run knock off 27 deliveries to help Northern to 160 runs in their allotted 20 overs.