Twenty-four-year-old left-handed batsman Khushdil Shah scored a magnificent unbeaten century to guide Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to a stunning four-wicket victory over Punjab in the fourth match of the Mughal Steel Pakistan Cup 2019 at the Pindi Cricket Stadium here on Friday. Khushdil scored 154 not out off 96 balls with the help of 11 fours and nine towering sixes and added 229 runs for the fifth wicket off 156 balls with Adnan Akmal (79 off 72 balls, nine fours and one six) to help his team hunt down a 342-run target with four wickets and 21 balls to spare.The two batsmen had joined hands at the score of 105 for five in the 20th over. The partnership ended when Adnan departed with just eight runs required. He fell to Hussain Talat, who finished with two for 56. Mohammad Saad (43) and Adil Amin (42) were the other notable run-getters for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The two added 78 runs for the third wicket after their side had slipped to 14 for two.
Earlier in the day, Punjab batsmen made full use of the good batting surface to post 341 for six in 50 overs with Iftikhar Ahmed top scoring with 105 off 101 balls. His innings included 12 fours and a six. Iftikhar had arrived at the crease at the score of 108 for two and following the departure of after Khurram Manzoor who struck seven fours and a six in his 55-ball 57.Iftikhar featured in two century partnerships. For the third wicket, he added 100 runs with Sami Aslan (68 off 63 balls with seven fours and two sixes), while he put on 105 runs for the fourth wicket with Saad Ali (46 off 41 balls with three fours).Hussain Talat and Rameez Aziz added 27 runs off the last 11 balls without being separated to take Punjab to what looked like a formidable total. Hussain scored 12 not out off six balls (two fours) while Rameez made 13 not out off five balls with the help of three fours. Sohail Khan took three wickets off his 10 overs, conceding 55 runs, while Zohaib Khan took two for 72 off his 10 overs.
Scores in brief:
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa beat Punjab by four wickets
Punjab 341-6, 50 overs (Iftikhar Ahmed 105, Sami Aslam 68, Khurram Manzoor 57; sohail Khan 3-55) VS Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 343-6, 46.3 overs (Khushdil Shah 154 not out, Adnan Akmal 79, Mohammad Saad 43; Hussain Talat 2-56)
Player of the match – Khushdil Shah (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa).