Yasir Shah guides Abbottabad to their first Super 8 stage win

By our correspondent
KARACHI: After losing the first game yesterday, Abbottabad opened their account by beating Sialkot in the Super Eight stage of the AH Group presents Jazz Super 4G National T20 Cup 2023-24. It was a low-scoring affair as Abbottabad chased down Sialkot’s total of 119 at the loss of five wickets.

Earlier when Shoaib Malik won the toss and elected to bat first, Sialkot openers looked in good touch. Abbottabad’s Adil Naz drew first blood as he got one to crash into the stumps while Mohammad Huraira (15, 12b, 3x4s) got stuck on the crease. At the end of Powerplay, Sialkot looked well on their way to a competitive total with Mirza Tahir Baig leading the way.

Soon, Abbottabad’s skipper Yasir Shah introduced himself into the attack and along with fellow spinners Khalid Usman and Kamran Ghulam spun a web in middle overs. Yasir struck in consecutive overs to remove Salman Khan (13, 21b, 1×4) and well-set Tahir (38, 29b, 3x4s, 2x6s). Tahir got out in a bizarre way trying to pull a Yasir delivery on the back foot but fell on the stumps because of a cramp.

Shoaib Malik’s (6, 10b) stay on the wicket was cut short by Kamran who got him to hit one straight down the throat of the fielder at point. In the last seven overs, Sialkot only managed a paltry total of 36 runs and lost four wickets.

In reply Abbottabad’s top-order took them to a safe position with openers Sajjad Ali Jnr (50, 45b, 8x4s) and Aneez Azam (18, 15b, 4x4s) giving a brisk start while Kamran (26, 21b, 3x4s) chipped in with a vital contribution.

Sialkot spinners Bilal Asif and Hamza Nazar struck regularly but by then Abbottabad were in a strong position. Atizaz Habib Khan (12 not out, 13b, 1×4, 1×6) made sure to cross the finishing line with 14 balls left.

Yasir Shah’s tight and incisive spell with the ball meant that he took away the player of the match award.

Scores in brief:

Abbottabad beat Sialkot by five wickets at National Bank Stadium, Karachi

Sialkot 119-8, 20 overs (Mirza Tahir Baig 38, Mohammad Huraira 15, Hamza Nazar 15; Yasir Shah 3-12, Adil Naz 2-22, Shahab Khan 1-19, Kamran Ghulam 1-19, Khalid Usman 1-24)

Abbottabad 120-5, 17.4 overs (Sajjad Ali 50, Kamran Ghulam 26; Bilal Asif 2-24, Hamza Nazar 1-13, Mohammad Ali 1-18, Sohaibbullah 1-29)

Player of the match – Yasir Shah (Abbottabad)

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