A century stand for the third wicket between debutant Abdullah Shafiq and veteran Kamran Akmal helped Central Punjab make light work of a 201-run chase against Southern Punjab in the second match of the National T20 Cup First XI tournament at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Wednesday night.
Southern Punjab 200-8, 20 overs (Sohaib Maqsood 51, Shan Masood 51, Hussain Talat 34; Sohaibullah 3-26, Usman Qadir 2-31)
Central Punjab 201-3, 18.5 overs (Abdullah Shafiq 102 not out, Kamran Akmal 75; Aamer Yamin 2-34)
Result: Central Punjab won by seven wickets
Central Punjab overhauled the target in the penultimate over of their innings losing only three wickets in the process.
The right-handed Abdullah who made a century on his first-class debut stunned the Southern Punjab bowling attack with an incredible innings to guide his team to their convincing victory. Abdullah reached the 100-run mark off only 55 balls (11 fours, 4 sixes). He became only the second batsman in the history of the game to score a 100 both on first-class and T20 debuts and the fourth Pakistani to score a 100 in his maiden T20 appearance.
The richly experienced Kamran once again demonstrated his T20 batting prowess with a dazzling 75 off only 41 balls (11 fours and two sixes). The wicketkeeper batsman was joined by Abdullah in the first over of the Central Punjab innings after Aamer Yamin had sent Rizwan Hussain and Abid Ali back to the dugout on two successive balls.
Kamran and Abdullah added 145 runs for the match winning third wicket partnership in only 77 balls. Captain Saad Nasim (18 not out) finished the job with Abdullah who remained unbeaten on 102 off 58 balls. The two added 55 runs for the unbroken third wicket partnership.
Reflecting on his performance, Abdullah Shafiq said: “I am very pleased since this was my debut and recently I also did well on my first-class debut. I played my natural game and maintained my flow. I belong to Sialkot, my coach and uncle supported and guided me a lot. I had to wait for my chances and I am happy that I have made it count. I am pleased that my team won and that is what counts the most, for me personal milestones are secondary. The pitch was great to bat on and really helped the batsmen. I like playing the fast bowlers and enjoy batting in the top-order.”
Batting first after winning the toss, Southern Punjab were well served by Sohaib Maqsood and captain Shan Masood who both scored 51 runs. The two added 67 runs for the second wicket, Shan’s innings included three sixes and four fours, he was bowled by Usman Qadir in the 11th over.
Sohaib played some powerful shots in his 26-ball innings that included three sixes and five fours. Hussain Talat contributed 34 off 17 balls with the help of three sixes and two fours.
Left-armer Sohaibullah was the pick of the Central Punjab bowlers taking three wickets for 24 runs while Usman took two wickets for 31 runs in his four overs.