KARACHI: It was a case of tactical gaffe which cost Northern dearly in the National T20 Cup action in Rawalpindi on Friday night.
Just as the rains started to pelt down at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Sindh all-rounder Danish Aziz had Northern opener Nasir Nawaz caught in the deep. The dismissal completely changed the equation of the match.
Northern needed to be 66-3 to clinch the result in their favour when the game came to a halt at 9:58pm. And when no further play was possible by the 10:50pm cutoff time, Sindh were ahead by three runs on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method of calculations with Northern remaining stuck at 62-3 after 7.3 overs.
Therefore, Sindh were declared winners to retain their top spot on the table — ahead of Saturday fixtures — with Northern two points behind the leaders.
Shahnawaz Dahani, named as a travelling reserve for this month’s Twenty20 World Cup by the national selectors, also played a major part. The animated fast bowler picked up the vital scalp of in-form Haider Ali in the fifth over.
Earlier, Sindh batted steadily to collect 176-7 after Sarfaraz Ahmed had won the toss. The most heartening feature of their innings was Sharjeel Khan finally getting a big knock under his belt.
The swashbuckling left-handed opener cut and pulled with gusto to strike 64 from 43 deliveries with the aid of 10 boundaries and a brace of sixes. Sharjeel — later adjudged player-of-the-match — was third out at 108 in the 13th over after sharing productive partnerships of 52 and 49 with Khurram Manzoor and Saud Shakeel, respectively.
Saud’s 21-ball 28 included three hits to the fence, while Sarfaraz was as busy as ever with a brisk 26 off just 18 balls. The captain struck two boundaries, while Rumman Raees Khan showed his prowess with the willow by hoisting two sixes.
After leaking too many runs in the previous matches, World Cup-bound pacer Haris Rauf bowled tidily to grab the early wicket of Shan Masood with the new ball.
Shan Masood lbw b Haris 1
Sharjeel Khan c Haris b Musa 64
Khurram Manzoor lbw b Shadab 15
Saud Shakeel c Asif b Salman 28
Danish Aziz c Imad b Shadab 1
Sarfaraz Ahmed c M. Nawaz b Musa 26
Anwar Ali c M. Nawaz b Salman 13
Rumman Raees Khan not out 13
Mohammad Hasnain not out 1
EXTRAS (LB-8, W-5, NB-1) 14
TOTAL (for seven wkts, 20 overs) 176
FALL OF WKTS: 1-7, 2-59, 3-108, 4-113, 5-128, 6-147, 7-169.
DID NOT BAT: Zahid Mahmood, Shahnawaz Dahani.
BOWLING: Salman Irshad 4-0-36-2 (1nb, 1w); Haris Rauf 4-0-22-1 (1w); Mohammad Musa Khan 4-0-48-2; Imad Wasim 4-0-29-0; Shadab Khan 4-0-33-2 (3w).
Nasir Nawaz c Hasnain b Danish 27
Sarmad Hameed c Rumman b Hasnain 5
Haider Ali c Sarfaraz b Dahani 11
Imad Wasim not out 13
EXTRAS (LB-5, W-1) 6
TOTAL (for three wkts, 7.3 overs) 62
FALL OF WKTS: 1-20, 2-44, 3-62.
DID NOT BAT: Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Rohail Nazir, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Musa Khan, Salman Irshad.
BOWLING: Anwar Ali 1-0-12-0; Mohammad Hasnain 2-0-15-1; Rumman Raees Khan 2-0-16-0 (1w); Shahnawaz Dahani 10-9-1; Zahid Mahmood 1-0-4-0; Danish Aziz 0.3-0-1-1.
RESULT: Sindh won by three runs (DLS Method).
UMPIRES: Imtiaz Iqbal and Saqib Khan.
TV UMPIRE: Nasir Hussain.
MATCH REFEREE: Iftikhar Ahmed.
PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Sharjeel Khan (Sindh).
Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2021