Northern’s Mehran, Zeeshan star in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s second successive defeat

F.P. Report

Multan: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa faced their second successive loss of the Kingdom Valley National T20 Cup 2022-23 as Northern successfully defended 153-run target at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Monday. Defending Champions Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – who had previously won five matches – all in Rawalpindi, are yet to win in Multan.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa remained seven-run short of the target as captain Khalid Usman returned undefeated on 26-ball 28, smashing two fours and one six.

Requiring 15 runs from the final over, Khalid struck Usman Khan Shinwari for a first-ball six, but the left-arm pacer came back strong and gave away only two runs of the remaining five balls to return with match figures of 4-0-29-0.

After a flying start of 31 from 3.2 overs from the openers, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were 65 for four in 8.2 overs courtesy fine bowling display from Mehran Mumtaz. The 19-year old Mehran – who had previously represented Pakistan in the ICC U19 World Cup in 2022 accounted for Mohammad Haris (41 off 17, three fours, three sixes), Israrullah (three off seven) and Mohammad Sarwar Afridi (five off nine) and returned with figures of three for 20 from four overs. Right-arm fast Zaman Khan finished with two for 31.

Earlier, after opting to bat, Northern wobbled at the top of the innings when they slumped to 31 for three inside the powerplay. Zeeshan Malik – batting at number four was joined by right-handed Mubasir Khan and the pair knitted 55-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Zeeshan top-scored with a 40-ball 52, studded with seven fours and one six. Mubasir scored 22 from 17 balls, smashing two fours and one six.

Aamir Jamal made 13-ball 20 not out (four fours) as Northern were dismissed for 152 on the last ball of the innings. For Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ihsanullah and Mohammad Imran bagged three wickets apiece. Later in the evening, Balochistan will take on Sindh in the 22nd fixture of the tournament.

Scores in brief:

Northern beat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by six runs
Northern 152 all out, 20 overs (Zeeshan Malik 52; Ihsanullah 3-35, Mohammad Imran 3-37)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 146-6, 20 overs (Mohammad Haris 41, Adil Amin 33, Khalid Usman 28 not out; Mehran Mumtaz 3-20, Zaman Khan 2-31)
Player of the match – Mehran Mumtaz (Northern). (APP)