Lahore: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa notched up their fifth win in eight matches to join Sindh, Central Punjab and Northern on 10 points as semi-final qualification in the National T20 is all set to go down to the wire at the Gaddafi Stadium.
On Saturday afternoon, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa defeated Sindh by seven wickets in front of PCB cameras to deny the latter an opportunity to seal a place in the last four.
In the second match under floodlight, Northern can become the first side to confirm a semi-final place if they defeat Balochistan. Northern’s failure to win will mean barring Southern Punjab, the remaining five sides will stay in contention for places in the 12 October semi-finals.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan will be in action on the remaining two days of the league matches on 10 and 11 October. On Sunday, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will take on Southern Punjab, while Balochistan will face Central Punjab, while on Monday, Balochistan and Sindh will go head to head and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will square off against Northern.
Put into bat on Saturday afternoon, Sindh recovered from 75 for four in the 12th over to finish at 152 for six – thanks to an fine 37-ball 54 with five fours and a six by Shan Masood and 34 not out by Anwar Ali off 27 balls (three sixes).
Their 32-run fifth wicket partnership came at the back of a 51-run second-wicket stand between Shan and Sharjeel Khan (26, 27b, 5×4, 1×6) before Sindh lost their way.
Iftikhar Ahmed was the most successful Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bowler with two for 25, while Niaz Khan and Asif Afridi scooped a wicket each.
In their turn at the wicket, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa slipped from 48 for one to 54 for three before Sahibzada Farhan and Iftikhar Ahmed held the innings together and took them home with 12 balls to spare.
Farhan scored 49 out off 37 balls with five fours and a six and Iftikhar completed a good day in the office with a 34-ball 55 not out that included five fours and three sixes. He was later adjudged player of the match.