Northern rout CP as Sindh, Balochistan seal first wins

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: Inspired by a maiden one-day ton from opener Taimoor Sultan, Northern routed Central Punjab by 154 runs in the most one-sided fixture in round two of the Pakistan Cup at the SBP Sports Complex here on Sunday.

Sindh and Balochistan, meanwhile, swiftly recovered from their first-round defeats with contrasting results against defending champions Khyber Pakhtun­khwa and Southern Punjab, respectively.

Taimoor, the 26-year-old right-hander from Sargodha, showcased his repertoire with bat in the televised game with stroke-filled knocked of 102 while Northern made mockery of Central Punjab’s decision of fielding first by amassing a huge 382-8 in their stipulated 50 overs.

Taking advantage of the rather small ground in North Nazimabad, Taimoor and Ali Imran (56 off 59 balls, five fours and one six) shared an opening partnership of 165 in 25 overs. Taimoor struck 11 fours and three sixes during his 94-ball innings which fetched him the man-of-the-match award.

Central Punjab’s miseries in the field lingered on unabated with discarded Pakistan right-hander Asif Ali thrashing seven fours and five sixes in a blistering 41-ball effort of 76. Hammad Azam was also in a rampaging mood as the all-rounder blasted a 30-ball 45 (three fours and two sixes) before wicket-keeper Jamal Anwar provided a perfect 22-ball cameo of 36 not out in the death overs.

Ahmed Bashir grabbed four wickets but the paceman’s 10 overs cost 86 runs.