KARACHI:Khushdil Shah scored the fastest T20 century by a Pakistan batsman to help Southern Punjab to their first win of the ongoing National T20 Cup for First XIs on Friday night at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi.

The 25-year-old batsman reached the 100-run mark in 35 balls and smashed as many as nine sixes and eight fours against Sindh to set the second highest run-chase in the history of the National T20 Cup in a thrilling contest which was won on the third last ball.

This was Khushdil’s maiden triple-digit score in the format and he brought it up in extraordinary circumstances after walking in to bat with his team tottering at 32 for three in five overs in their 217-run pursuit. Soon Southern Punjab were another wicket down to be 43 for four.

Khushdil then turned things around as he paired with Hussain Talat, who scored a blazing half-century, and stitched a sparkling 127-run stand off just 55 balls for the fifth wicket. Khushdil contributed 91 runs from 31 balls – which also included an 18-ball half-century.

He was caught the next ball after registering the record as he miscued Anwar Ali’s delivery to be caught by Sharjeel Khan in the mid-on region.

Reflecting on his innings, Khushdil told pcb.com.pk: “There were some doubts about closing this game when I walked on the pitch but when Hussain joined me in the middle we planned the partnership and decided that we have to back ourselves and find a couple of boundaries every over.

“It is certainly a great feeling to have made this record. We were getting close in the matches but were unable to finish them and this gives me a lot of confidence. My aim is to play more such innings in the future. One can truly enjoy and celebrate such innings when they help your team to win. I am glad that I was able to help Southern Punjab break the losing streak.”

Following his dismissal, Hussain took the charge as he smashed Anwar for a four and a six on the next three balls. He struck three more fours before getting out to Anwar, who returned four for 47, on the penultimate ball of the penultimate over.

With nine required off the last over, Dilbar Hussain, who smoked left-arm orthodox Hassan Khan for a six on the first ball, and Umar Khan took Southern Punjab over the line.

Earlier, Khurram Manzoor’s fourth T20 century helped Sindh post a solid 216 for three after being asked to bat first by Southern Punjab captain Shan Masood.

The right-handed opener, who is the highest run-getter in the history of the National T20 Cup, scored a scintillating 58-ball 108, which was studded with 10 fours and six sixes.

The 34-year-old put up a 123-run alliance with Asad Shafiq – who playing his second match of the tournament scored 59 off 37 balls, which included six fours and two sixes.

Following this match, Southern Punjab and Sindh are locked on two points each.