LAHORE - Salman Butt played captain’s knock to help Lahore Region Whites beat Fata Region by seven wickets to book berth in the semifinal of the National Twenty20 Cup 2018 here on Saturday at Multan Stadium.

Chasing the target of 133 runs, Salman Butt provided a solid start to Lahore Whites and gathered 42 runs for the first-wicket partnership with wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal, who was sent packing by Kashif Bhatti at his personal score of 28 runs, which he scored off 22 balls hitting three boundaries and two cracking sixes. After Kamran’s departure, his younger brother Umer Akmal joined the captain Butt and added 47 runs for the second-wicket partnership. This time, it was Usama Mir bowled out Umer Akmal at his individual score of 29 runs, which he collected by smashing one four and two sixes.

Partnering with Zeeshan Ashraf, Butt brought the team closer to achieve the target as they contributed significant 38 runs for the third-wicket stand. When the pair was set to chase down the target, Adil Amin bowled an impressive delivery to take the wicket of skipper Salman Butt, who played 38 balls to hammer 44 runs with the help of five boundaries. Ali Khan then joined Zeeshan Ashraf and both landed their team hom                e safely, as Lahore Whites chased the target losing just three wickets in 17.3 overs.

Earlier put into bat first, Fata Region piled up a total of 132 runs for the loss of nine wickets in allotted 20 overs. Adil Amin played convincing unbeaten knock of 29-ball 41 runs wrapped with five boundaries while Mukhtar Ahmed contributed 23 runs off 17 balls hitting one four and Sohail Akhtar struck 22 off 28 balls with the help of two sixes. Amad Butt, Zafar Gohar and Umaid Asif bowled brilliantly for Lahore Whites and bagged two wickets each conceding 20, 24 and 26 runs respectively while Bilal Asif and Ali Khan got one wicket each.

For his brilliant batting display, skipper Salam Butt was adjudged as player of the match. Imtiaz Iqbal and Majid Hussain officiated the match as field umpires while Waleed Yaqoob acted as TV umpire, Ali Gohar referee and Muhammad Atiq official scorer.

In another match of the day, Peshawar Region thumped Lahore Region Blues by seven wickets. Lahore Blues, being sent into bat first, scored 141 runs for the loss of four wickets in their 20 overs. Hussain Talat scored an unbeaten half-century as he made 80 runs off 52 deliveries with the help of seven boundaries and two sixes while Nauman Anwar played a knock of 23 runs which included two fours. For Peshawar, pacer Imran Khan took two wickets.

Peshawar chased down the target of 142 runs for the loss of three wickets and three balls to spare. Saad Ali was the top scorer for the team as he slammed 57 runs off 38 deliveries after hitting five boundaries and two sixes. He was supported by Mohammad Mohsin, who made 35 runs with the help of a boundary and two sixes. Israrullah played a knock of 27 runs which included a boundary. Mohammad Irfan Jr, Waqas Ahmed Jr and Bilal Khan got one wicket apiece. Saad Ali was named player-of-the-match for his batting performance.

SCORES IN BRIEF:

First Match

FATA REGION: 132-9 in 20 overs (Adil Amin 41*, 29 balls, 5x4s, Mukhtar Ahmed 23, 17 balls, 1x4, Sohail Akhtar 22, 28 balls 2x6s, Amad butt 2-20, Zafar Gohar 2-24, Umaid Asif 2-26, Bilal Asif 1-6, Ali Khan 1-23)

LAHORE REGION WHITES: 136-3 in 17.3 overs (Salman Butt 44, 38 balls, 5x4s, Umer Akmal 29, 22 balls, 3x4s, 2x6s, Kamran Akmal 28, 22 balls, 3x4s, 2x6s, Adil Amin 1-4, Kashif Bhatti 1-25, Usama Mir 1-24)

Second Match

LAHORE REGION B: 141-4 in 20 overs (Hussain Talat 80*, 51 balls, 8x4s, 2x6s, Nauman Anwar 23, 27 balls, 2x4s, Imran Khan Sr. 2-20, Sajid Khan 1-35)

PESHAWAR REGION: 142-3 in 19.3 overs (Saad Ali 57*, 38 balls, 2x6s, Muhammad Mohsin 35, 22 balls, 1x4, 2x6s, Israrullah 27, 30 balls, 1x4, Muhammad Irfan 1-10, Bilal Khan 1-21, Waqas Ahmed 1-23).