Khushdil Shah’s heroics in vain as Balochistan beat Southern Punjab

Bureau Report

Multan: Khushdil’s Shah hard-hitting masterclass went in vain as Southern Punjab fell 16 runs short to Balochistan tally of 230 in the ninth match of the National T20 Cup.
SP set to chase 231, lost wicketkeeper-batsman Zeeshan Ashraf in the first over. Skipper Shan Masood carried the chase with Sohaib Masood but the 26-year-old couldn’t replicate his last night power show and departed after scoring 20 off 15 balls.
Shan partnered with Khushdil for the third wicket and added 103 runs. Shan scored 72 off 42 balls which included nine fours and three sixes. He was removed by Akif Javed in the 15th over.
Khushdil looked in great touch and hammered Balochistan bowlers on a regular basis. He batted at a strike-rate of 212. His inning included seven fours and four sixes. Akif got the better of him in the 18th over.
Young Atif picked three while veteran Umar Gul, Amad Butt and Kashif Bhatti bagged one each. Earlier, Balochistan opted to bat first and posted a massive total of 230-4 in 20 overs courtesy opener Imam-ul-Haq and captain Haris Sohail.
Imam scored a brilliant 94 in 53 balls, powered by 10 fours and 4 sixes. It was his highest score in T20 cricket. Haris batted at a strike-rate of 196 and smashed 53 in just 27 balls. Imam and Haris added 97 for the third-wicket stand.
Bismillah and Amad Butt also made valuable contributions. Bismillah score 39 off 23 while Amad struck 7-balls 22*. For SP, Mohammad Irfan, Rahat Ali, and Hussain Talat picked a wicket each. Imam was awarded the player of the match. It must be noted that SP have not won a match yet in this tournament while Balochistan claimed their second win.