All-rounder Mohammad Nawaz displayed top-notch performance with both the bat and ball which helped Northern claim a 14-run victory over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the 17th match of the ongoing National T20 tournament at the Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi on Sunday.
Setting a 182-run target, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finished their 20 overs at 167 for eight as Iftikhar Ahmed’s fighting half-century went in vain.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stared their chase briskly with Israrullah and Captain Mohammad Rizwan hitting some delightful shots in the power play overs.
Israrullah (25) was the first to go with Haris Rauf taking his wicket. Rizwan was dismissed for 17 by Salman Irshad. Sahibzada Farhan (13) and Asif Afridi (21) were dismissed in the hunt of quick runs against the mounting asking rate.
Iftikhar took the fight to the Northern attack with a series of big shots.
The right-hander scored the 16th half-century of his T20 career, he was eventually dismissed by Haris for 58 off 34 balls.
The middle-order batter hit two fours and five sixes in his innings.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa challenge subsided after Iftikhar’s dismissal, the win was Northern’s fourth win in six games; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have also won four and lost two matches.
Earlier, Northern recovered from a sensational opening over by Shaheen Shah Afridi to post their formidable total.
Shaheen removed right-handers Ali Imran and Haider Ali with inswinging deliveries to jolt Northern.
Both batters were dismissed for ducks in the space of three balls.
Nasir Nawaz (24) and Umar Amin (27) fought back for their side with a 52-run third-wicket partnership which ended with Umar’s dismissal to Asif Afridi.
Northern stuttered to 55 for four when Nasir fell to Israrullah.
The in-form Mohammad Nawaz joined hands with his captain Shadab Khan as the two carved out an 89-run stand for the fifth-wicket.
Shadab scored 46 off 27 balls (six fours, two sixes).
Nawaz completed his second half-century in the tournament, he was run out in the last over for 51 (34 balls, one four, three sixes).
Northern continued the attack in the death overs as 98 runs were added in the last seven overs.
Asif Ali contributed an invaluable 21 off 11 balls (one four, two sixes) to push his side past the 180-run mark.
Shaheen took two while Israrullah, Asif and Imran Khan Snr took a wicket apiece.
Scores in Brief: Northern 181 for 7, 20 overs (Mohammad Nawaz 51, Shadab Khan 46, Umar Amin 27; Shaheen Shah Afridi 2-30, Israrullah 1-9).
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 167 for 8, 20 overs (Iftikhar Ahmed 58, Israrullah 25; Haris Rauf 3-31, Mohammad Nawaz 2-26).
Wednesday’s matches: Home City Central Punjab vs GFS Sindh and Balochistan vs Northern.