Khyber Pakhtunkhwa enter Pakistan Cup final after thrilling Super Over win
KARACHI (City News) – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are just one step away from winning all three first XI domestic titles in the ongoing season after advancing to the Pakistan Cup powered by Servis Tyres – One-Day Tournament 2020-21 final by overcoming Northern in a nail-biting Super Over finish in the second semi-final played at the State Bank Stadium on Saturday.
The final on Sunday (tomorrow) would be a repeat of the epic Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Central Punjab that ended in a historic tie earlier this month at the National Stadium Karachi.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who won the National T20 Cup in Rawalpindi (October 2020) before the joint-win in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy can complete a hat-trick of titles under new coach Abdul Razzaq who took over the reins of the side a month before the commencement of the 2020-21 domestic season.
Imran Khan Snr was the hero for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the Super Over as the seasoned pacer dismissed Haider Ali and Rohail Nazir off successive deliveries as Northern only managed two runs after being set 16 runs to win.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa scored 15 runs in their Super Over with Musadiq Ahmed hitting a six and a four off Athar Mehmood.
In the 50-over contest, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who were given a 304-run target, finished their 50 overs at 303 for seven after which the match went to the Super Over.
Sahibzada Farhan (player-of-the-match) was the star of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chase, the right-handed opener posted his sixth List A century as his 132 off 144 balls spearheaded the chase. Farhan who took the attack to the Northern bowlers before settling into play his match defining knock hit a total of 13 fours and two sixes.
Farhan added 127 runs for the first-wicket with Musadiq who scored 62 off 50 balls (eight fours, three sixes) in his swashbuckling knock. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lost the way after the start and stuttered to 271 for seven before the pair of Mohammad Waseem Jnr (18) and Asif Afridi (14) took the match to the Super Over with their unbeaten contributions.
With eight needed off the last two balls, Asif hit Waqas Ahmed for a six before scoring a single off the last ball which forced the tie and the subsequent Super Over.
Earlier, batting first after winning the toss, Northern posted a 303 for eight total based on impressive contributions by captain Hammad Azam, opener Haider Ali and wicketkeeper-batsman Rohail Nazir.
Haider took the attack to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bowlers in the first power-play, the right-hander scored 65 off 60 balls (three fours, two sixes). Rohail who batted at number five, provided stability in the middle-order after the loss of some quick wickets, scored 57 off 65 balls with the help of four fours and one six.
Hammad took over the scoring mantle after Northern were reduced to 235 for seven, the right-hander used the long handle to great effect as he took his side past the 300-run mark. Hammad was unfortunate to fall six runs short of his maiden List A century when he was run out attempting a second run, he faced 63 balls in scoring 94 with the help of seven fours and four sixes.
Hammad added 57 runs for the eight-wicket with Athar Mehmood (13). Pacer Mohammad Waseem Jnr and left-arm-spinner Asif Afridi took two wickets each for Northern.