Rizwan, Iftikhar fifties lead Peshawar to title
Peshawar Region 178 for 3 (Rizwan 58*, Iftikhar 57*, Mohmand 43) beat Karachi Region Blues 177 for 8 (Sarfraz 47, Manzoor 41) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball-details
Half-centuries from Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan helped Peshawar Region beat Karachi Region Blues by seven wickets and defend their T20 title in Rawalpindi. All of Peshawar's seven wins in the tournament have come batting second, and this one meant Karachi crashed to their fifth loss in the finals of the T20 Cup.
Chasing a challenging target of 177, Peshawar began strongly with opener Rafatullah Mohmand bashing 43 of the 48 runs for the opening wicket. Rafatullah and his partner Israrullah fell in a space of eight balls, but Iftikhar and Rizwan then took charge, adding an unbroken 110 off only 64 balls to ace the chase. Rizwan crunched 58 off 34 balls while Iftikhar hit 57 off 40 balls as Peshawar sealed the win with seven balls to spare.
After having inserted Karachi, Peshwar struck in the first over with Imran Khan removing Shahzaib Hasan for a duck. Khalid Latif (23) and Khurram Manzoor (41), though, worked past the early blow and kept runs flowing. Imran Khan Jnr broke the 52-run partnership in his first over when he had Latif caught and bowled. Three overs later, Manzoor was run out. Imran Khan Jnr then broke Karachi further with the wickets of Asad Shafiq and Anwar Ali and finished as the tournament's joint highest wicket-taker - 16 from seven matches at an average of 12.12.
Sarfraz Ahmed, who had pushed himself down the order, provided some late impetus with an unbeaten 47 off 26 balls. He scored three consecutive boundaries in the penultimate over as Karachi tallied 29 runs in the last 12 balls. But it wasn't enough.