About the Match
Topping the table with 10 points, Peshawar did very well so far and they are poised to take on Karachi Whites, who came at No.3 with 10 points, in the 1st Semi-final match of the National T20 league at Multan on 15th September. Although Peshawar lost the last contest of the league against Lahore Whites by a narrow margin of 6 runs, they are well prepared for the upcoming crucial match; on the other hand Karachi Whites defeated FATA by 5 wickets to make it through to this stage and will leave no stone unturned to keep their campaign going.
Chasing 160 runs against Lahore Whites, the openers lost the plot by the 3rd over of the innings and it was left to the middle-order batsmen like Iftikhar Ahmed, Sohaib Maqsood and Fakhar Zaman to fetch the runs. While Zaman scored a brilliant 62 from 40 balls, Ahmed and Mqsood tried their best to revive the innings but with no support from the other batsmen, they fell short of the target by 6 runs.
Earlier, the bowlers provided regular breakthroughs but it wasn’t enough to stifle the opposition. In the match against Rawalpindi recently, the speedsters put up a tremendous performance; while Imran Khan took 3-23 and Waqas Mahmood took 2 scalps, spinner Zohaib Khan put up an economical show and took 2 wickets to restrict Rawalpindi to 122 and win the match by 18 runs.
Overall, the batting line-up has good experience and young talent that can drive Peshawar closer to the title; with the bowlers being in good from, they can prove to be a formidable force to reckon with.
Speedsters Tabish Khan and Sohail Khan took 5 wickets between them to restrict FATA to a meagre 124 runs; spinners like Faraz Ahmed, Azam Hussain and Saud Shakeel also helped put pressure on the opponents and bring variety to the attack. They have a well-balanced pace and spin attack that has helped them overcome strong teams and make it to the semi-finals; with precision and good strategy they can try to topple the Peshawar batting unit too.
Chasing the 125-run target, Asad Shafiq came out with a well-made 62 from 43 deliveries and steered the team closer to the finish line; Akbar-ur-Rehman and Danish Aziz played useful knocks to keep the scoreboard ticking and win the match by 5 wickets with 16 balls to spare. In the earlier match against Rawalpindi, it was the middle-order that stuck its feet firmly and got 140 runs on board thanks to an unbeaten 52 by Danish Aziz. Fast-bowlers like Tabish Khan and Mir Hamza then took 2 wickets each to stifle the top-order batsmen and with help from spinners, they won the match in nick of time.
The team has done well to reach this stage and although their bowling attack is stronger than the batting performance, they surely have the resources to overcome Peshawar in this do-or-die match.
While Karachi Whites have strong batsmen and in-form bowlers, we feel that Peshawar has a stronger unit that can do well in all departments of the game to win this semi-final clash