Sohail, Sharjeel propel Sindh to their maiden T20 crown

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MULTAN: Sohail Khan’s four-for and Sharjeel Khan’s blistering 53 off 36 balls led Sindh to their maiden National T20 title after beating Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by eight wickets in the final of the Kingdom Valley National T20 Cup 2022-23 here at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Monday evening.

This was Sindh’s first National T20 title since the inception of the new domestic structure in 2019 and they also took away the glittering National T20 trophy besides the PKR 5million winners’ prize. While, this was defending champions Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s first defeat in the final in the last three years.

In pursuit of a 141-run target, Sindh opening pair Saim Ayub and Sharjeel Khan provided a flying start to their team as both batters stroked eight fours and six sixes between them. The pair scored at 11 runs an over in the powerplay and stitched a 70-run partnership for the first wicket.

The left-handed Saim was the first one to depart with 36 off 24 balls and ended the tournament with 416 runs at a staggering strike rate of over 155. Sharjeel top-scored for his side and smoked four fours and as many sixes during the course of his innings. Omair Bin Yousuf (21 not out, 12b, one four, two sixes) and captain Saud Shakeel (18 not out, 16b, two fours) saw Sindh chased down the target with 32 balls to spare.

Earlier, the decision to bat first from Khalid Usman backfired as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wobbled at the top of the innings when they slumped to 44 for three in the powerplay. Sohail accounted for Sahibzada Farhan (four off two, one four) and Kamran Ghulam (16, 11b, four fours) in the first nine balls he bowled in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s batting. He went on to pick two more wickets (Mohmmad Sarwar Afridi 30 off 20, one four, two sixes) and Mohammad Abbas Afridi (one off two) to end with match figures of 4-0-18-4 and later adjudicated player of the final. Wicketkeeper-batter Rehan Afridi top-scored with a 41-ball 43, studded with four fours and one six.

Mir Hamza and Asif Mehmood bagged two wickets apiece.

That the Sindh were able to win the tournament goes to an all-round performance from the side which included performances from Saim – who was awarded player of the tournament, Sohail – who was awarded best bowler of the tournament with 21 scalps and Sarfaraz Ahmed – who was awarded with best wicket-keeper of the tournament with 13 dismissals to his name. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Sahibzada Farhan was awarded with best batter of the tournament with 429 runs.

Scores in brief

Sindh beat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by eight wickets

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 140 all out, 19.5 overs (Rehan Afridi 43, Mohammad Sarwar Afridi 30; Sohail Khan 4-18, Mir Hamza 2-32, Asif Mehmood 2-35)

Sindh 141-2, 14.4 overs (Sharjeel Khan 53, Saim Ayub 36)

Player of the final: Sohail Khan (Sindh), PKR 50,000

Player of the tournament: Saim Ayub (416 runs), PKR 100,000

Best batter of the tournament: Sahibzada Farhan (429 runs), PKR 100,000

Best bowler of the tournament: Sohail Khan (21 wickets), PKR 100,000

Best wicketkeeper of the tournament: Sarfaraz Ahmed (13 dismissals), PKR 100,000

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