Northern ease past Balochistan in National T20 opener

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Northern defeated Balochistan by six wickets in the National T20 Cup opener on Thursday in Rawalpindi.

Northern, chasing a modest target of 140 runs, cruised to victory with the help of top-order batsman Haider Ali’s fifty. The target was reached in only 17 overs for the home team.

With an undefeated 58 runs off 41 balls, including seven fours and two sixes, Haider was the top scorer in the innings. Asif Ali, on the other hand, stayed unbeaten on 43 off 20 balls, with three fours and four sixes.

For Balochistan, Akif Javed, Amad Butt, Yasir Shah and Kashif Bhatti claimed one wicket each.

Balochistan could only muster 139/7 in their allowed 20 overs after being asked to bat first. Northern bowled well and restricted Balochistan to 139/7 in their allotted 20 overs.

Within 13 overs, Imamul Haq’s team had been reduced to 70/5, with all of their important batters, including the captain (6), returning to the pavilion. Abdul Bangalzai and Akbarur Rehman each got 24 runs off the bat, but were unable to turn that into a significant innings.

With their backs against the wall, all-rounder Amad Butt and lower-order batsman Kashif Bhatti stitched a critical 66-run partnership to keep their team from capitulating completely.

Butt was the top-scorer with 34 runs off 24 balls, with the help of two fours and same number of sixes. Bhatti remained unbeaten on 24 runs off 25 balls.

For Northern, pacer Haris Rauf was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets for 18 runs in four overs. Meanwhile, all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz claimed two wickets for 31 runs.