Muzaffarabad: Fifteenth game of the Kingdom Valley Kashmir Premier League (KPL), season two, saw Mirpur Royals climbed to the top position, on the chart, by pinning down Jammu Janbaz.
Jammu Janbaz, while batting first on the invitation, got the casualty early in Ali Imran (4). Hasan Nawaz then joined by Muhammad Hamza Arshad to shape up a wonderful partnership and hit splendid shorts around the strip.
The Jammu Janbaz had to wait for long and at last they ran Hasan Nawaz (68 off 44 balls) out in the 16th over. Nawaz’s knock was decorated with five fours and three sixes.
Hasan Nawaz knitted a 112-run stand with Hamza Irshad who followed Nawaz quickly after accumulating 43 runs.
Two back to back blows slowed Mirpur Royals’ progress for a while but Shoaib Malik’s experience came handy for Royals who managed
172/4 runs in 20 overs. Malik was brilliant with 16-ball 35, including two fours and as many sixes.
Mehran Mumtaz, Imran Khan Snr and Faheem Ashraf got one a wicket apiece.
In reply, it was not Sharjeel Khan’s night as he was caught brilliantly in the deep, by Sufyan Muqim on 8 (10) off Shoaib Malik in the third over.
Shahzeb and Faheem Ashraf played some shots but their effort wasn’t enough as the asking rate kept on creeping. The wicket of Faheem Ashraf (22), in the 13th over, made the task difficult for Jammu Janbaz.
The team’s tally was 86/4, when Shahid Afridi stepped in amidst roaring crowd.
Shahid Afridi and Shahzeb kept the scoreboard moving with some lofty strokes however Shahzeb’s dismissal on 40 off 38 left it on Afridi’s shoulders.
The asking rate got tougher as 51 runs were needed with 24 legitimate deliveries available.
They were needing 31 runs in last couple of over when Royals got the relief they wanted. Shahid Afridi was caught and bowled by Shadab Majeed on 21-ball 37. Afridi entertained the capacity crowd with six fours and a six.
Janbaz had to get 21 runs in the last over but they fell short of 12 runs (160/8)
Shadab Majeed got two scalps.
Shoaib Malik’s all-around performance earned him the player of the match award.
Mirpur Royals jumped to the top of points table with six points in five matches.