Balochistan rout Southern Punjab to register seven-wicket victory
Imam-ul-Haq thumped a quickfire half-century that helped Balochistan cruise to a comfortable victory. They had a modest target of 145 to chase which they got to in the 19th over.
Earlier Haris Sohail opted to field first after winning the toss and the move was an instant success as Southern Punjab had a terrible start to their innings, languishing by losing both openers with two runs on the board.
After being denied a solid start, Southern Punjab were always playing the catching up game as their middle order played with a circumspect approach. However, Wahab Riaz cameo of 31 from 17 balls hauled Punjab to a fighting total of 144 - which didn't prove enough in the end.
Akif Javed was sharp throughout his quota of overs and dismissed three batsmen by only giving away 16 runs. He was complemented superbly by the off-spinner Mohammad Asghar who chipped in with two wickets to peg back Punjab. Yasir Shah and Amad Butt took one wicket each.
Balochistan started off their chase in a calm and composed manner. There were no hiccups as Awais Zia and Imam ul Haq glued a 60 runs partnership. Imam then went on to score a vital fifty while Awais Zia perished on 22.
Haris Sohail, the exceptional middle-order batsman, took control and made sure there was no panic. He forged a match-winning partnership of 47 runs with Imran Butt that sealed the game.
Zahid Mahmood from Southern Punjab was the rare bright spot as he got two crucial wickets that would do a world of good to his confidence as the tournament moves onto the business end. Imam was declared the man of the match for his blistering fifty.