Young opening batsman Haider Ali’s blistering innings of 58 helped Northern beat Balochistan by 6 wickets in the opening match of the National T20 2021. The match was played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi.
The young prodigy scored his 50 in just 28 balls and finished the game with 58 off 41. He was well-supported on the crease by middle-order batsman Asif Ali. He scored a quick 43 off just 20 balls to help his side achieve the 140-run target in just 17 overs.
The duo added 51 runs for the fifth-wicket partnership to hand Northern a comprehensive in the opening game of the tournament.
Haider returned to form and gave another glimpse of his incredible batting talent. He hit seven fours and two sixes in his 41-ball knock.
With his power-hitting down the order, Asif reminded his haters why he has been drafted in the T20 World Cup squad. He stood true to the finisher’s role to perfection clubbing four sixes and three fours in his 20-ball innings. Asif finished the match with a six down the ground off pacer Akif Javed.
After winning the toss, Balochistan opted to bat first. They were restricted to a 139 for seven total, thanks to a brilliant bowling display from top-of-the-line Northern bowlers.
At one stage, when half the side had returned to the pavilion for 70 runs in the 13th over, the total of 139 looked beyond Balochistan’s reach. However, Ammad Butt and Kashif Bhatti provided the much-needed push in the final overs to drag their side to a respectable total.
Early in the innings, Sohail Tanvir got Northern off to a fine start by dismissing captain Imam-ul-Haq for six runs in the first over of the match.
Fast bowler Zaman Khan who was making his debut for Northern sent Bismillah Khan packing in the fifth over with the score of 26.
Young opener Abdul Wahid Bangalzai played some sparking shots in his run-a-ball 24 before falling to Mohammad Nawaz.
Northern bowlers kept Balochistan in check by making regular breakthroughs in the middle-overs. Akbar-ur-Rehman (24) and Ayaz Tasawar’s (4) dismissal left Balochistan struggling at 70 for five in 12.1 overs.
Balochistan were revived by a 66-run stand for the sixth-wicket between all-rounders Amad Butt and Kashif Bhatti. Amad hit two fours and two sixes in his 34 while Kashif contributed 24 off 25 balls (two sixes).
Haris Rauf and Nawaz took two wickets each for Northern conceding 18 and 31 runs.