Shahwaiz’s second successive century guides Shaheens to final

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LAHORE: Shahwaiz Irfan’s second successive century and a four-fer from Ali Asfand led Shaheens to an eight-wicket win over Papua New Guinea at the DXC Arena on Friday evening. The win means Shaheens also qualify for the final and will take on Northern Territory Strike at the same venue.

Chasing 121 to win, Shaheens lost their first wicket on 16 with Shamyl Hussain returning to the hut for one off two balls. Right-handed batter Shawaiz was joined by Azan Awais and the pair knitted a 54-run partnership for the second wicket. Shawaiz contributed 40 runs in the partnership and over the course of the partnership brought up a brilliant half-century. He had scored 65 off 37 balls against Melbourne Stars in the team’s 43-run win at the TIO Stadium on Wednesday.

Shawaiz was dismissed for 54 off 32 balls, which included 10 fours, with Shaheens still requiring 51 for victory off 74 balls. Skipper Rohail Nazir and Azan made sure there were no hiccups in the run-chase and took Shaheens home in the 13th over.

Rohail’s quick-fire 33 off 22 balls included three fours and one six. Azan returned undefeated on 26 off 23 balls, hitting two fours.

Earlier, after opting to bat first, Papua New Guinea managed to score 120 for eight in 20 overs after left-arm spinner Ali wreaked havoc with a four-fer. The remaining four wickets to fall were bagged by Aaliyan Mahmood and Arafat Minhas – both taking two wickets each.

For PNG, Sese Bau top-scored with a 28-ball 32 with three boundaries and one six.

Pakistan Shaheens will now take on Northern Territory Strike in the final, which will be played at the DXC Arena on Sunday, 6 August. The first ball will be bowled at 1500 local time and will be live-streamed on Tapmad in Pakistan.

Scores in brief:

Pakistan Shaheens beat PNG by eight wickets

PNG 120-8, 20 overs (Sese Bau 32, Norman Vanua 25; Ali Asfand 4-11, Aaliyan Mahmood 2-21, Arafat Minhas 2-24)

Pakistan Shaheens 121-2, 12.5 overs (Shawaiz Irfan 54, Rohail Nazir 33 not out, Azan Awais 26 not out)

Player of the match – Ali Asfand (Pakistan Shaheens)

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