The National T20 cup started with a full-fledged in Pakistan as Multan and Rawalpindi covered the domestic tournament respectively. As it has now ended choosing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the winners, let us have a look at the performances of all six domestic franchises.
National T20 Cup: Six teams performances
Highest team total: 221-4 vs Northern, Rawalpindi leg
Lowest team total: 121 all-out vs Southern Punjab, Rawalpindi leg
Most runs: Khurram Manzoor 408 runs
Most wickets: Sohail Khan 15 wickets
Sindh concluded in fourth place in the National T20 Cup as they could complete their campaign till the semi-finals. They had a see-saw ride during the tournament. If we look at both legs, Sindh won only one match in the Multan leg while acquiring four in Rawalpindi, which also involve their four straight wins.
Out of five wins, they endured defending the total once. They won it facing Northern by 25 runs in the Rawalpindi leg. Their bowlers were not that impressive. Mostly, they finished up oozing runs more than getting wickets.
In terms of specific performances, Khurram Manzoor led the chart with 408 runs which include 3 fifties and 1 hundred. In the wickets column, it was led by Sohail Khan with 15.
The stand out player was Danish Aziz, the left-hand middle-order batsman. He was the third-highest run-scorer for Sindh but best the average from his side. Danish played 9 matches, scored 220 runs at an average of 73.33 including five not out. He added two fifties only though but those two fifties were match-defining inning.
First, his 59* from 32 balls help Sindh chase down the total 171 against Central Punjab. Then the innings one cannot forget easily; Sindh were chasing only 139 against KPK but affirmed quickly at 34-7. Danish paired up with Anwer and made a recovery before finishing the game with his unbeaten 72 from 47 balls to win by 2 wickets.
Overall, the bowling has led Sindh down in most matches. They did not have a strong bowling unit.
Highest team total: 242-3 vs KPK, Multan leg
Lowest team total: 144-9 vs KPK, Rawalpindi leg
Most runs: Zeeshan Malik 305 runs
Most wickets: Haris Rauf 18 wickets
It was a blow that the defending champions ended the tournament as the semi-finalist of the tournament after they had an astonishment failure against Southern Punjab.
Out of ten matches that they have played, they won 8 and lost 2 only. They were uniform throughout the tournament. They were triumphant in the Multan leg, winning all five games there. This also results in their winning streak going at 12.
Their most salutary batsman was Zeeshan Malik with 305 runs and the best bowler was Haris Rauf, who is also the second-highest wicket-taker.
The stand out player was Shadab Khan. Before the returning of Imad Wasim in the side, Shadab led Northern in the Multan leg and won all the matches. Along with his leadership, he was excellent in both batting and bowling. In batting, he scored 237 runs with the highest average among his team (39.5) and was the second-highest wicket-taker for Northern with 10 scalps.
Overall, they were excellent. In fact, they were the team of the tournament.
Highest team total: 206-4 vs Southern Punjab, Rawalpindi leg
Lowest team total: 138-9 vs Sindh, Rawalpindi leg
Most runs: Fakhar Zaman 420 runs
Most wickets: Shaheen Afridi 20 wickets
Team KPK was a mixture of youngsters and senior players who played for Pakistan. KPK is having the services of veteran cricketers like Muhammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik alongside Junaid Khan in the bowling line up. KPK won five group matches and clinched the second spot on the points table.
2020 is proving lucky for Pakistani wicketkeeper Muhammad Rizwan who after winning the man of the tournament award in England leads his team KPK to win the national t20 cup. Rizwan scored four fifties in this tournament. Fakhar Zaman won the best batsmen of the tournament played some amazing knocks and helped his team to lift the trophy. When it comes to bowlers then Shaheen Shah Afridi was there who bowled splendidly throughout this tournament and helped his team in clinching this year’s national T20 cup.
Highest team total: 230-4 vs Southern Punjab, Rawalpindi leg
Lowest team total: 125-8 vs Central Punjab, Rawalpindi leg
Most runs: Imam ul-Haq 375 runs
Most wickets: Amad Butt 13 wickets
Team Balochistan was led by star Pakistani middle-order batsmen Harris Sohail. Balochistan won few matches quite handsomely but after that, they lost the path and couldn’t even qualify for the semi-finals. Imam ul Haq and Awais Zia played some marvelous knocks for their team. Veteran fast bowler Umar Gul who recently announced his retirement from all forms of cricket was also a part of the team Balochistan. He [Umar Gul] bowled some amazing spells during this tournament and played his role in the victories of his team. Balochistan needs to improve and they must include some upcoming players to prove their worth and try to win the cup.
Highest team total: 217-8 vs Sindh, Rawalpindi leg
Lowest team total: 132 all-out vs KPK, Rawalpindi leg
Most runs: Sohaib Maqsood 393 runs
Most wickets: Zahid Mehmood 12 wickets
If there was any surprise given by any team, it would be Southern Punjab. They failed to win a single match in Multan leg. They had lost four games in that leg and six were to be performed in Rawalpindi. They commenced their winning matches from there. Their three out of four games came in the last three matches.
Their final group game was their most mattering game. After conquering Sindh by 70 odd runs in their penultimate game, their last game asked them to chase down the target under 12 overs if they batted. They needed to chase Balochistan’s 160 which they did. They reached the semi-finals and won to reach the final.
Unfortunately for them, they were outclassed by KPK and ended as the second-best side in the tournament.
Their highest run-scorer was Sohaib Maqsood and he batted splendidly while left-arm facer Zahid Mehmood picked the most wickets for his side with 12.
The player who was standout was Sohaib Maqsood and Khushdil Shah. They cannot be separate and both played a vital role in Southern Punjab’s run to the final. Sohaib was the third-highest run-scorer as well while Khushdil played some excellent knock in the back end. Let’s also not forget his knock of 100 off 35 balls, the fastest T20 century by a Pakistani player.
Overall, SP was that student who doesn’t do well throughout the year in school only to be found with the top students. They surely surprised everyone.
Highest team total: 202-8 vs. Southern Punjab, Rawalpindi leg
Lowest team total: 127-1 vs Balochistan, Rawalpindi leg
Most runs: Abdullah Shafique 358 runs
Most wickets: Ehsan Adil 13 wickets
Southern Punjab, Central Punjab, and Balochistan tied with 8 points when the group stage was done. However, SP qualified doe to them chasing down 160 odds against Balochistan around 10 overs, leapfrogging over the other two. As a result, both Central Punjab and Balochistan were eliminated.
Central Punjab ended as the fifth-placed team. They won 4 games out of 10. Five games were played each in Multan and Rawalpindi. In five games in Multan, they managed only one while winning three in Rawalpindi.
Babar took over the leadership in the Rawalpindi leg and led his side to three victories out of five and once very close contest against Southern Punjab by three runs. That game will haunt them probably as had the result went in their way, they would have qualified for knock-outs instead of Southern Punjab.
Their leading run-scorer was the young and rising Abdullah Shafiq, who was recently called for the upcoming Zimbabwe series. He scored 358 runs and was the only batsman from CP to be in the top 10 lists of run-scorers. The wicket-taker was Ehsan Adil, who picked 13 scalps.
Only Abdullah and Babar were the best players from their side. Babar was a phenomenon. He scored 275 runs and at an average of 91.66 with three fifties in five innings. Such is the class of the limited-overs captain.
But if I have to pick the standout player, it’s Abdullah Shafique. The young man made his T20 debut in this tournament and became just the second man to score a First Class and T20 centuries on debut. With his brilliant performance, he was given a call-up for the Zimbabwe series.
Overall, Central Punjab had its ups and downs but in the end, it wasn’t meant to be for them. Had they have won at least one more game, say that Southern Punjab match where they lost by three runs or anyone more in Multan leg, then it would have been a different story.