After a damp couple of days that resulted in four games getting washed out, the National T20 Cup got back on track with a pair of thrilling last-over chases on Thursday. And it was Peshawar and Rawalpindi that ended on the right side of the results, each securing their maiden win of the competition, beating Islamabad and FATA respectively.
Peshawar were the first to collect their maiden points, refusing to let Islamabad’s batsmen settle in the day’s first game, a low-scoring affair. Inevitably, the pressure of the run rate got to Islamabad and they lost wickets regularly to crumble to 128 all out in 19.2 overs. Each of Peshawar’s bowlers boasted excellent figures, four of them taking two wickets apiece, and only two of them conceding over seven an over. Sohail Khan was the best among them, with 2 for 23 in four overs.
Peshawar rode on Israrullah‘s quick half-century at No. 3 to cruise through most of their chase, but late wickets made the game more nervous than it should have been. Mohammad Irfan was foremost in keeping Islamabad’s hopes alive, snaring 2 for 9 in four overs. It took a last-over six from Sohail Khan to settle the nerves, and seal the win.
In the day’s second game, Rawalpindi captain Umar Amin‘s half-century helped his side overhaul Federally Administered Tribal Areas’ total of 160 with six wickets in hand. Khushdil Shah (50) and Mukhtar Ahmed (42) scored the bulk of FATA’s runs. Only experienced internationals Sohail Tanvir and Shadab Khan were able to maintain respectable figures, conceding 20 and 15 runs respectively in their allotment of four overs.
Rawalpindi got off to a blazing start with Nasir Nawaz’s 29-ball 42 proving suitable support to Amin, but they fell away during the middle overs. By the time Amin departed, his side needed 33 to win with 17 balls remaining. It took cameos from Mohammad Nawaz and Tanvir to seal victory with just a ball to spare, each contributing an unbeaten 21 to the cause. Ahmad Jamal, who sent down the last over, was taken apart for two sixes and a four by Tanvir, ending with figures of 3.5-0-53-1.
With all teams having played three games each, Faisalabad remain the only undefeated side, their two wins – one game was washed out – keeping them on top of the table.