The second phase of the National T20 Cup will start on October 9 in Rawalpindi for which the defending champions Northern Pakistan are being declared the favorites.
According to a statement issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), defending champions Northern Pakistan will be the only team to be challenged in the second round which has been unbeaten in the first round and has won 11 matches in a row so far. ۔
The Northern Pakistan team has won 10 consecutive matches in the National T20 so far and had earlier been defeated by the MCC team in a match played in Lahore earlier this year.
In the first phase of the National T20 Cup in Multan, all the teams played 5 matches and the teams scored a total of 200 or more 200 times 8 times.
In Multan, not only the batsmen but also the bowlers got ample opportunity and Shaheen Shah Afridi also set a record of taking 5 wickets twice.
The batsmen hit 481 fours and 180 sixes in the first phase and all the teams are ready to qualify for the semi-finals in the second phase.
Northern Pakistan tops the points table with 10 points, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 8 points, while Balochistan has 6 points and the chances of all three teams reaching the semi-finals are bright.
The first match of the second phase will be played between Northern and Central Punjab in Rawalpindi and Central Punjab will be led by Babar Azam, the captain of the national T20 team.
The second match will be played between Sindh and Southern Punjab in floodlights.
In terms of individual performance of the players in the first phase, Abdullah Shafiq of Central Punjab is leading in batting and Shaheen Shah Afridi of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is leading in bowling.
The 20-year-old Central Punjab batsman, who has won just one match so far in the tournament, has scored 236 runs in five matches, including a single century in a single tournament.
Abdullah Shafiq has also set a record by scoring a century in the first match of his career in first class and T20 style and has become the second batsman to receive this award.
Veteran Khyber Pakhtunkhwa batsman Mohammad Hafeez is second with 207 runs, Balochistan’s Imam-ul-Haq is 192 and captain Haris Sohail is third and fourth with 181 runs respectively.
In the first phase, apart from Abdullah Shafiq’s century, Imam-ul-Haq of Balochistan scored 94, Sharjeel Khan and Haider Ali of Sindh scored 90 and 90 individual innings respectively.
In bowling, Shaheen Shah Afridi tops the list who has taken 6 wickets in a match of England’s T20 Championship while he has taken 5 wickets twice in the National T20 Cup.
Shaheen Shah Afridi took 12 wickets in 4 matches, while three Northern Pakistan bowlers Haris Rauf, Shadab Khan and Musa Khan are second, third and fourth respectively.