Star batter Naseem Khan of Bannu smashed a cracking 44 runs not out against strong Mardan by guiding her team to reach to the final while Peshawar recorded a convincing 93 runs victory against Malakand in the second semi-final to setup final clash with Bannu in the Inter-Zone Women Cricket Championship being played here at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University ground on Thursday.
Naseem played a captain innings smashing cracking boundaries all around the ground and made an unbeaten 44 runs at a time wherein Bannu lost three wickets for just 11 runs. Naseem, who also made a good knock of 52 runs in the earlier match against Hazara, played a key role in guiding her team to reach the final.
Naseem hits seven boundaries and three towering sixes in her 44 runs not out innings as Bannu while batting first scored 83 runs for the loss of five wickets with Naseem was the scorer. Shazia also played well and made 26 runs with four boundaries and one six. Thus Bannu set a target of 83 runs in eight overs for strong Mardan. For Mardan Lubaba, Irum and Shamim took one wicket each.
In reply, Mardan failed to chase the target and bundled out for 81 runs with Zarka, Naaz made 23 and 20 runs and were the leading contributors. Anzala and Nayyab made 12 and 13 runs respectively.
Mardan played well and made hard efforts to reach the target and remained two runs short as at one time Mardan needed six runs off six balls but Naseem got two wickets in the last over and did not give more runs. Thus Mardan failed to chase the target by making only 81 runs and lost the match by just two runs. For Bannu Naseem took two wickets, Nazia and Azra took two wickets each.
In the second match, Peshawar piled up 146 runs target while batting first. Bakhtawar was the top scorer with 45 runs including five boundaries and four sixes, Asiya, Saba and Zohar made 34 runs with five boundaries, Saba scored 33 runs including four boundaries and one six while Irum made 13 runs not out with two boundaries. Aqsa, Aman, Eman, Nayyab, Shabnum took one wicket each for Malakand.
In reply, Aqsa played excellently by smashing 34 runs with six boundaries and Aman made 16 runs with three boundaries while Nayyab scored 10 runs not out. Thus Malakand failed to chase the target and bundled out for 53 runs with Zohra, Rahat claimed two wickets each while Asiya, Saba one wicket each.
The final will be played between Peshawar and Bannu on Friday. Vice Chancellor Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University Professor Dr. Safia Ahmad would grace the occasion as chief guest. Operation Manager Pakistan Cricket Board Haseena Khushbo, Deputy Director Sports Mariyyah Samin, international cricketer Salma Faiz, Organizing Secretary Najma Qazi, officials and players were also present and witnessed the semi-final matches.