Bahawalpur Stags upstaged Karachi Dolphins in nail-biter
Bahawalpur Stags upstaged Karachi Dolphins in nail-biter at Bagh-e-Jinnah Ground, Lahore on Monday to register their third successive victory in Faysal Bank T20 Cup.
Riding on Imranullah Aslam’s blazing 32-ball 48 and an array of contributions from the lower middle-order, Bahawalpur chased down the 153-run target in the final over.
The second successive loss pushed Dolphins, who arrived in Lahore as title favorites, to the third position in Group B. On the other hand Bahawalpur, who are participating in the tournament for the first time, leaped to the top of ladder with their third win in a row.
Aslam and Hamid Ali (15) delivered Bahawalpur a strong 49-run opening stand in chase but latter’s run-out in eighth over sparked a collapse in their batting-order as they were slumped to 5-86 in 14 overs.
Following the tumble of wickets and sky-scraping asking rate, Bahawalpur looked out of the game but Kamran Hussain (18) and Usman Tariq (18) emerged as vindicators and shared a flamboyant 40-run stand for sixth-wicket to bring their side back in contention.
After the dismissal of Tariq in the 17th over, Moinuddin accumulated 14 runs off seven balls with the help of two boundaries and a six to take Bahawalpur closer to victory.
However, the back-to-back dismissals of Hussain and Moinuddin in the penultimate over kept the contest fluctuated.
Wicketkeeper batsman Zulqarnain Haider cracked a boundary off the third delivery of the final over to seal the conquest.
Earlier, put to bat, Karachi lost opener Shahzed Hasan (11) in the second over but wicketkeeper batsman Amin-ur-Rehman (44 off 23) soon recovered the innings with a quickfire 55-run second-wicket stand with Khurram Manzoor, who bowled out off Ataullah after scoring sluggish 19-ball 13.
The departure of Asad Shafiq and Rehman, who hit a dozen fours and a six in his sparkling knock, left Karachi reeling at 4-76.
However, Fawad Alam (43 off 38) and Khalid Latif (29 not out) started rebuilding the innings and took the total to 5-142 before seamer Mohammad Talha struck twice in the penultimate over to remove Alam and Afridi in successive deliveries.