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Southern Punjab call up Dilbar Hussain; Balochistan drop Imran Farhat for Rawalpindi leg
National T20 Cup

Southern Punjab call up Dilbar Hussain; Balochistan drop Imran Farhat for Rawalpindi leg

Southern Punjab have made three changes to their squad for the second leg of the National T20 Cup that commences in Rawalpindi on Friday.

The Shan Masood-led team is currently rotting at the bottom of the points table after crashing to four defeats in a row.

In need of an instant end to their winless rut, Southern Punjab have decided to overhaul their bowling line-up by dropping the experienced pace trio of Bilawal Bhatti, Mohammad Irfan and Rahat Ali.

They have thus roped in right-arm paceman Dilbar Hussain and Mohammad Imran, and left-handed batsman Zain Abbas to replace the omitted players.

Dilbar was a consistent member of the Lahore Qalandars outfit during this year's Pakistan Super League, picking up seven wickets from eight games. He also turned out for Melbourne Stars in a solitary appearance in the Big Bash League.

The 27-year-old has been doing well in the simultaneously held Second XI tournament, where he has five wickets to his name at a frugal economy rate of just over seven.

On the other hand, Imran has bagged six wickets while Zain has been the leading run-scorer for Southern Punjab Second XI this season.

Balochistan have replaced 38-year-old Imran Farhat with Quetta-born teenage sensation Abdul Wahid Bangalzai following the youngster's sensational run in Second XI National T20 Cup. Bangalzai was a part of Pakistan's squad in the ICC U19 World Cup 2020.

Meanwhile, Farhat disappointed in his two outings for Balochistan in Multan, managing a paltry sum of 19 runs batting at No. 6 instead of his usual opening slot. He had earlier announced he would retire from competitive cricket by the end of the 2020/21 domestic season.

Fifth-placed Central Punjab have boosted their batting with the addition of Second XI player Mohammad Akhlaq, who comes in ahead of off-spinner Bilal Asif. Akhlaq has amassed three half-centuries in the competition whereas Bilal picked one wicket and scored four runs in two games for Central Punjab First XI.

Babar Azam also joins the team for the Rawalpindi round and takes over CP's leadership duties from the luckless Saad Nasim.

The other three sides in the tournament have named unchanged combinations for the rest of the matches.