Lahore: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has successfully defended the national T20 Cup title by beating Central Punjab in the final by seven wickets here at Gaddafi Stadium.
KP chased the goal of 149 in 17 overs due to aggressive batting by skipper Iftikhar Ahmed, who slammed 45 runs off 19 balls.
At the top, Kamran Ghulam scored decisively 37 of 31, while Sahibzada Farhan made 26 of 28. Adil Amin supported batteries and did not stay out on 25 of 21.
Earlier, Iftikhar struck an ingenious spell to limit CP to 148. He was well supported by the young Mohammad Imran and Arshad Iqbal.
Iftikhar got three wickets in two overs and gave only five runs away. Left-armer Imran took 3/26, while Arshad demanded two for 28. Imran Khan Snr. and Khalid Usman also got a wicket each.
Central Punjab’s experienced fighters Ahmed Shahzad (44) and Kamran Akmal (42) put up a stand of 85 runs after Mohammad Akhlaq went back to the pavilion in the first over.
Spinners got in their way and caused a mini-collapse in the middle-overs. CP lost four wickets for just 15 runs. They created hope from Qasim Akram, who hit 20 runs out of 11, but Imran got consecutive wickets to stop CP’s flow of runs.
In the back end, Faheem Ashraf hit 14 of 6 balls to give CP a respectable score of 148, but that was not enough for the KP players.
Iftikhar was named player of the match for his all-round performance, while also receiving the award as a player in the tournament. He scored 409 runs with a strike rate of 170.41 and selected eight wickets with an economy rate of 5.57.