Seven no-balls from Southern Punjab highlighted the ill-discipline in a bowling attack that never seriously threatened to defend 174
Balochistan 176 for 2 (Bangalzai 50, Sohail 47*, Yamin 1-28) beat Southern Punjab 174 for 9 (Maqsood 54, Junaid 3-29, Umaid Asif 3-30) by eight wickets
An ill-disciplined bowling performance from Southern Punjab saw Balochistan take full advantage, romping home by eight wickets to condemn Sohaib Maqsood’s side to their fifth straight defeat.
Southern Punjab got off to the worst possible start, losing three wickets in the first four overs while managing little over a run a ball in that period. A quickfire half-century from Maqsood steadied the innings somewhat, but Umaid Asif and Junaid Khan continued to plug away, removing Hassan Khan and Khushdil Shah, among others, just when they began to look dangerous. Cameos from those two, however, and 25 off 12 from Aamer Yamin at the death helped take Southern Punjab to 174, something that appeared unlikely after the start SP had endured.
However, it needed a bowling performance to match if SP were to hold Balochistan off for their first win, and they expressly didn’t get that. Among general sloppiness, there were seven no-balls – five from Dilbar Hussain in two overs that went for 35, and unlike SP’s struggles, Balochistan flew to 57 inside four overs. Abdul Bangalzai and Abdullah Shafique put on 84 for the first wicket, and, in effect, broke the back of the chase there and then. Bangalzai went on to score a half-century, while an unbeaten 35-ball 47 from Haris Sohail ensured SP were frozen out altogether. In the end, Balochistan’s ruthless batting display got them home with eight balls and eight wickets to spare, leaving SP staring elimination in the face.