Haider and Asif star in Northern’s comfortable victory

Monitoring Desk)

Rawalpindi: Northern recorded a comfortable six-wicket win over Balochistan in the opening match of the National T20 tournament at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi on Thursday evening.
Haider Ali and Asif Ali made light work of Northern’s 140-run chase scoring 58 not out and 43 not out and adding 51 runs for the unbeaten fifth-wicket partnership to ensure a comprehensive victory for their side with 18 balls to spare.
Haider gave another glimpse of his incredible batting talent as he hit seven fours and two sixes in his 41-ball knock. Asif played the finisher’s role to perfection clubbing four sixes and three fours in his 20-ball innings, Asif finished the match with a six down the ground off pacer Akif Javed. Umar Amin (2) and Zeeshan Malik (19) fell early in Northern’s innings but Haider and Asif ensured an emphatic victory for their side with their unbeaten alliance.
Batting first, Balochistan were restricted to a 139 for seven total. Sohail Tanvir got Northern off to a fine start by dismissing Balochistan captain Imam-ul-Haq for six in the opening over of the match. Fast bowler Zaman Khan who was making his debut for Northern sent Bismillah Khan packing in the fifth over with the score on 26.
Young opener Abdul Wahid Bangalzai played some sparking shots in his run-a-ball 24 before falling to Mohammad Nawaz.
Northern bowlers kept Balochistan in check by making regular breakthroughs in the middle-overs, Akbar-ur-Rehman (24) and Ayaz Tasawar’s (4) dismissal left Balochistan struggling at 70 for five in 12.1 overs.
Balochistan were revived by a 66-run stand for the sixth-wicket between all-rounders Amad Butt and Kashif Bhatti. Amad hit two fours and two sixes in his 34 while Kashif contributed 24 off 25 balls (two sixes).
Haris Rauf and Nawaz took two wickets each for Northern conceding 18 and 31 runs.
Scores in Brief:
Northern beat Balochistan by six wickets
Balochistan 139 for 7, 20 overs (Amad Butt 34, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai 24, Akbar-ur-Rehman 24; Haris Rauf 2-18, Mohammad Nawaz 2-31)
Northern 140 for 4, 17 overs (Haider Ali 58 not out, Asif Ali 43 not out; Yasir Shah 1-23, Amad Butt 1-25)
Player of the match: Haider Ali.