Maqsood, Ajmal guide Faisalabad to 2nd win

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By Syed M Osama

KARACHI: Sohaib Maqsood smashed an unbeaten 42-ball 80 to hand Faisalabad Region (FR) a seven-wicket win against Lahore Blues Region (LHBR) in the ongoing National T20 Cup at Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi. LHBR posted an impressive 187 for 5 in 20 overs allotted quota. Imam-ul-Haq’s 31-ball 50 and useful knocks from Babar Azam (45) and Hussain Talat (43). FR top order responded with as much aggression to comfortably chase down the target. The win was Faisalabad’s second in as many matches. Faisalabad skipper Saeed Ajmal struck early to dismiss Ahmed Shehzad for 12 after electing to bowl first. Babar then joined Imam to add 70 for the second-wicket, off just 48 balls, to set the platform for a big finish. Imam, who scored 44 in the first match, hit six fours and a six, but was out soon after reaching his fifty. Mohammad Hafeez, too, fell soon after, as he was run out for 18. Those two wickets in the middle overs coupled with Babar’s strike-rate of 121.62 slowed Blues down. It needed a late blitz from Talat – who hit five fours and two sixes – to ensure they finished on 187. Taj Wali conceded only 23 runs in his four overs while Ajmal finished with 3 for 26. In response, chasing 188, FR opener Gauhar Ali was out lbw in the second over, but Sahibzada Farhan and Maqsood added 90 for the second wicket to put their team ahead once. LHBR had an opening when Farhan was stumped for 58 in the 13th over, but Asif Ali then smashed 42 off just 17 balls to take the game beyond them. Asif hit five fours and three sixes, but could not see the game off, out with Faisalabad needing just two for victory. Sohaib Maqsood named man of the match. Meanwhile, Lahore Region Whites (LHWR) beat Karachi Region Whites (KWR) by three wickets yesterday. Lahore Region Whites won the toss and invited Karachi Region Whites to bat first where they scored 163 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in 20 overs. Khurram Manzoor 64, Sarfraz Ahmed 39, Akbar-ur-Rehman 23 batted well. For Lahore, Umaid Asif 3 for 18, Wahab Riaz 1 for 33 and Amir Yamin 1 for 40 took wickets. In reply, Lahore Region White achieved the target in 19.4 overs losing 7 wickets. Sami Aslam 56, Kamran Akmal 52 batted well. For Karachi, Zulfiqar Babar 2 for 18, Ruman Raees 2 for 27 and Anwar Ali 2 for 32 bagged wickets. Kamran Akmal of Lahore Region Whites was declared Man of the match.

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