Babar, Wahab, Qadir star in Central Punjab's win; Manzoor's 84 helps Sindh take down Southern Punjab
This is Sindh's first win over Southern Punjab in four games
Central Punjab 145 for 8 (Babar 65, Wahab 20*, Junaid 3-41) beat Balochistan 142 for 7 (Umaid 32, Qadir 4-25) by two wickets
A collective team effort, in which Wahab Riaz scored a crucial 20 off 8 balls, Usman Qadir took four wickets and Babar Azam made 65 off 45, helped Central Punjab to a two-wicket win against Balochistan.
Opting to bat first, Balochistan were off to a sluggish start as captain Imam-ul-Haq departed within the third over. Bismillah Khan (21 off 19) and Abdul Bangalzai (19 off 18) put on a steady partnership to keep the scoreboard ticking but Qadir (4 for 25) and Wahab (2 for 19) ripped through the line-up to leave Balochistan reeling for 73 for 5 in 11 overs. Kashif Bhatti (27 off 27) and Umaid Asif (32* off 18) put together some valuable runs to take the total to 142.
Central Punjab did not get to a strong start either in the chase as both Kamran Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad walked back cheaply within three overs leaving Babar to do the repair work. Although Babar stabilised the innings, wickets kept falling at the other end in regular intervals. The game nearly slipped through Central Punjab's hands when he was dismissed by Akif Javed in the 16th over. Hasan Ali chipped in with 19 off 16 balls but the contest eventually came down to Central Punjab needing 20 off the last two overs. But a couple of no-balls from Junaid Khan, along with Wahab's heroics as he hit two sixes and a four, helped them seal the win in the 19th over.
Sindh 179 for 5 (Manzoor 84, Anwar 29*, Naseem 1-28) beat Southern Punjab 175 for 7 (Yamin 43, Zeeshan 34, Hasnain 2-40) by three wickets
A 49-ball 84 from Khurram Manzoor helped get Sindh off to a winning start, triumphing over Southern Punjab for the first time in four games.
In a high-scoring contest in Rawalpindi, Southern Punjab got off to a flyer after being put in to bat, thanks to a blistering cameo from Zeeshan Ashraf. Sindh began to pull things back after the powerplay with regular wickets, Mohammad Hasnain coming back strongly after an errant first over to get rid of Zain Abbas at the top of the innings and a dangerous Aamer Yamin at the end.
The middle was controlled by legspinner Zahid Mahmood, who turned in a masterclass to allow just 25 runs in his spell and putting paid to Zeeshan's innings before it got out of control. Yamin had injected some impetus back into Southern Punjab by smashing 43 off 26 and setting Sindh 176 for victory.
Unlike Southern Punjab, Sindh had, in Manzoor, someone who hung around and scored big right through the innings. A poor start from Shan Masood and Sharjeel Khan was quickly forgotten about as Manzoor settled into gear, dominating a 50-run third-wicket partnership with Sarfaraz Ahmed as they got back in control of the asking rate.
Southern Punjab's bowlers were never able to make breakthroughs in the way their Sindh counterparts had, even if Manzoor's dismissal in the 17th over offered hope. However, Anwar Ali stepped in decisively to quash it, a whirlwind 41-run partnership off 15 balls at the death ensuring Sindh got home with four balls to spare.