Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Become Champions Once Again | Iftikhar Ahmed Crushes Central Punjab:
The National T20 Cup 2021 concluded with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa defending their title in style by 7 wickets. Last year they did it with Mohammad Rizwan as their captain, while this year Iftikhar Ahmed led them to the precious trophy of National T20 Cup. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa defeated Central Punjab in the final. This was Central Punjab’s first appearance in the final and it did not go well for them.
Batting first Central Punjab lost Mohammad Akhlaq early but Kamran Akmal and Ahmed Shahzad put up a partnership of 85 runs to lay down a foundation for a big score. The spin magic of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa did the trick for them as Khalid Usman and Iftikhar Ahmed dismissed Kamran Akmal and Ahmed Shahzad quickly to bring KP back in the game. Afterwards few batsmen chipped in with little contributions but Iftikhar’s magical bowling was too much for the batsmen. Apart from Kamran, Ahmed and Qasim no Central Punjab batsmen could even score 15 runs hence the entire team collapsed under 150 and were bundled out for just 148 runs.
The target of 149 for a side with inform Kamran Ghulam, Sahibzada Farhan and the skipper Iftikhar Ahmed himself, was way too less. KP lost Muhammad Haris early in the chase but afterwards they had no trouble at all in the chase. Farhan and Kamran Ghulam put up a stand of 47 runs and laid the foundation for the chase. After the dismissal of Shaibzada Farhan, Kamran Ghulam continued the good work with Adil Amin. The destiny was written for Iftikhar Ahmed as after Kamran Ghulam fell, it was all Iftikhar Ahmed. He smashed 20 runs to Muhammad Faizan in the 15th over and told Central Punjab that they better stop hoping now. Iftikhar scored 45 off just 19 balls to guide KP to their second National T20 Cup.
Central Punjab 148/10, Ahmed Shahzad 44(36), Kamran Akmal 42(29). Iftikhar Ahmed 3/5, Mohammad Imran 3/26
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 152/3, Iftikhar Ahmed 45(19)*, Kamran Ghulam 37(31). Sameen Gul 1/19, Qasim Akram 1/27
Man of the Match – Iftikhar Ahmed