A record second-wicket partnership between Zeeshan Malik and Haider Ali orchestrated a 79-run win for Northern against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the opening match of the National T20 Cup First XI tournament at the Multan Cricket Stadium.
Northern 242-3, 20 overs (Haider Ali 90, Zeeshan Malik 77, Asif Ali 23 not out, Ali Imran 21; Junaid Khan 2-44)
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 163-9, 20 overs (Sahibzada Farhan 62, Iftikhar Ahmed 28, Shoaib Malik 28; Musa Khan 3-31, Sohail Tanvir 2-34, Mohammad Nawaz 2-37)
Northern won by 79 runs
Reflecting on his performance, Haider told pcb.com.pk: “It is always a great feeling to start off a tournament on a high and this innings has provided me a lot of confidence. Though I am a little disappointed on missing out what would have been my maiden century in T20 cricket, I thoroughly enjoyed the partnership with Zeeshan Malik. Our decision to bat first paid dividends as it allowed us to make the most of the true bounce on offer.
“My aim is to now build on this start and play a vital role in helping my side defend the title.”