ISLAMABAD: Lahore and AJK will face each other in the final of the NBP T20 Blind Cricket Trophy 2022 after pulling off comprehensive wins against their respective opponents in the semifinals at Bhutto Shaheed Cricket Ground, Islamabad on Sunday.
In the first semifinal, AJK won the toss and decided to bat first against Islamabad. Openers Faisal Mehmood and Nisar Ali faced the strong bowling of Islamabad valiantly as and both knitted 197 runs for the first wicket partnership. AJK put 222 runs on the board in the allotted 20 overs. Faisal Mehmood was the top scorer with 93 runs off 54 balls and Nisar Ali made 91 runs off 59 balls. Anees Javed was the only bowler to claim a wicket.
In reply, Islamabad was well on the course to chase the target till the 12th over, but Anees Javed’s wicket opened the opportunity for AJK and they grabbed it very well. Shahzeb Haider tried his best in a fighting inning of 98 runs off 66 runs but Islamabad was restricted to 203 runs in 20 overs for the loss of 8 wickets. Anees Javed was the other main scorer with 50 runs off 30 balls. Muhammad was the pick amongst the bowler with two wickets to his name.
In the second semifinal, defending champions Bahawalpur won the toss and put Lahore into bat. Lahore got off to a flyer, as their openers Matiullah and Kamran Akhtar took advantage of fielding restrictions and scored 82 runs in the first 6 overs. They both got out in the 8th over after scoring 35 and 46 runs, respectively. Then Muhammad Salman and Sanwal Shahzada took charge and scored freely. However, both were dismissed on 44 and 49 runs, respectively. Lahore posted a huge total of 243 runs on the board for the loss of 8 wickets in the stipulated 20 overs. Sajid Nawaz took 2 wickets, while Saqib and Ejaz claimed one wicket apiece.
In reply, Bahawalpur got the big jolt in the first over, when their most dependant batsman Muhammad Rashid was bowled by Matiullah on just one run. Moeen Ali and Zafar Iqbal weren’t impressive either as both fell cheaply. Lahore tightened the grip with clinical bowling and fielding and restricted Bahawalpur to 189 runs in 19.4 overs. Kamran Akhtar took two wickets, while Matiullah, Karamat and Rizwan claimed a wicket apiece.
The final will be played on Monday.