Mohammad Rizwan-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) defeated Punjab, captained by Umar Akmal, by 35 runs in the fourth match of the ongoing Pakistan Cup at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
KPK openers - Imran Butt and Iftikhar Ahmed – gave KPK a profound first-wicket stand of 89 runs. Ahmed, promoted up the order from number three spot, scored 60 from 58 balls hitting 10 fours and a six. The partnership lasted for 18 overs before Butt was removed by off-break bowler Bilal Asif, who picked up two wickets and conceded 46 runs in 10 overs.
Adil Amin and Rizwan’s 74-run stand for the third-wicket took KPK to 175 in 34 overs which set the platform for veteran allrounder Shoaib Malik to unleash mayhem in the death overs. Malik forged a 134-run partnership with Nabi Gul, who scored 52 off 43 balls, that helped KPK put 313 for 5 in 50 overs. The 35-year-old remained undefeated on 80. He took 57 balls to reach the mark, hitting seven fours and three sixes.
In their pursuit of the target, Punjab lost Salman Butt early on once again. His opening partner, Kamran Akmal, however, kept the chase on scoring 57 off 44 balls. Umar Amin, who had put a mammoth 156 in the opening game of the five-team tournament, scored 26 before he was bowled by Imran Khan. Umar Akmal struck 77 but couldn’t get support from the other end as Khan picked up four more wickets to bag the Man-of-the-Match award.
The right-arm medium-fast bowler gave 57 runs at an economy of 6.
Federal Areas face Sindh on Thursday.