LAHORE     -      Northern clinched the National T20 Cup after thumping Balochistan by 52 runs in the final played at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad on Thursday.

Balochistan started their run-chase in the worst possible manner as they lost their first two wickets quite early. Imam-ul-Haq and Bismillah Khan were the batsmen from Balochistan, who lost their wickets for 9 and zero runs respectively. When they were struggling at 14 for 2, Imran Farhat joined Awais Zia and added significant 44 runs for the third-wicket partnership. Awais Zia was then sent packing by Northern captain Imad Wasim at his personal score of 28 runs, which he gathered in 27 balls with the help of five boundaries.

After the dismissal of Awais Zia, the wickets of Balochistan kept on falling one after another without any significant contribution. Only Imran Farhat played sensibly and struck 26-ball 32 runs, hitting five boundaries. Besides Imran Farhat and Awais Zia, last-match hero Ammad Butt (13) and promising talent Hussain Tallat (11) batted well as no other Balochistan batsman could cross the double figures and their side was all out for 115 runs in 18.2 overs.

The outstanding bowling performance was shown by the best bowler of the tournament Sohail Tanveer, who took three wickets after giving away 27 runs. The other key bowlers, who provided breakthroughs to Northern, were Muhammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan, who bagged two wickets each conceding 10 and 23 runs respectively while captain Imad Wasim and Muhammad Amir got one wicket each.

Earlier helped by swashbuckling knock of Umar Amin, Northern set a decent target of 168 runs. The impressive knock of 38-ball 60 runs by Umar Amin included six boundaries and three sixes. After that, brilliant batting display by Muhammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan, who smashed Balochistan bowlers at their will in the last five overs, gave respectability to Northern’s total, as earlier they slumped to 109 for 5 with five overs to go.

Muhammad Nawaz contributed with inspiring unbeaten 31 runs off 25 balls, laced with 2 boundaries and one six while his partner Shadab Khan also amused the spectators with his superb batting display by valuable unbeaten 25 runs off 15 balls, which included two boundaries.

Umar Amin emerged as man of the final match while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain Muhammad Rizwan (215 runs, 6 stumps) was declared player of the tournament, Northern’s Sohail Tanveer the best bowler (14 wickets), Balochistan’s Awais Zia the best batsman (276 runs) and Northern’s Rohail Nazeer best wicketkeeper.