PCB Challengers secure a narrow five-run victory over PCB Blasters  

PCB Challengers (in green) celebrate after Javeria Khan is dismissed. © PCB

An unbeaten 37 by Aliya Riaz and a brilliant half-century by Javeria Khan at the top could not save PCB Blasters as they fell short by a narrow five runs against PCB Challengers in the National Triangular T20 Championship at the Pindi Stadium in Rawalpindi on Saturday (November 28). This was also Challengers’ maiden victory in the tournament.

Chasing 158 runs for victory, openers Sidhra Amin and Javeria got Blasters off to a good start reaching to 59 runs in the first eight overs. However, a couple of two quick wickets derailed the momentum for Blasters. The dismissal of Javeria for 56 in the 15th over, turned things around for Blasters as they couldn’t recover from the setback.

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There was still hope with Riaz at the crease but lack of support at the other end was the culprit as the Blasters came down from 139/3 to 151/6 within a space of nine balls. They eventually finished at 152/6 in 20 overs. Fatima Sana, Bismah Maroof and Saba Nazir took a wicket apiece for Challengers.

Earlier, Challengers posted 157/6 despite losing both their openers for ducks. Opener Muneeba Ali was the first one to go in the first over itself before Sadaf Shams followed suit a couple of overs later. Bismah along with Kaynat Hafeez steadied the ship with a 33-run third-wicket partnership before the latter was out for 19.

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Ayesha Naseem and Nida Dar too didn’t trouble much the scorers before a 33-ball 41 not out from Fatima Sana took the score past the 150-run mark. Bismah was out for 48-ball 61. For Blasters, Hafsa Amzad took 3/27. After this win, Challengers are at the second spot with four points while Dynamites are atop the standings with five points from three games.

Brief scores: PCB Challengers 157/6 in 20 overs (Bismah Maroof 61, Fatima Sana 41*; Hafsa Amzad 3/27) beat PCB Blasters 152/6 in 20 overs (Javeria Khan 56, Aliya Riaz 37*; Bismah Maroof 1/10) by five runs.

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