MULTAN: A career-best 84 by 23-year-old Zeeshan Malik stretched Northern’s winning streak to four matches as they defeated Sindh by 13 runs in the 10th match of the National T20 Cup First XI tournament at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Sunday night. Zeeshan scored his second half-century of the tournament and that Northern were able to post their third 200-plus score in four matches was mainly due to his knock. The right-handed batsman attacked the Sindh’s bowlers from the onset after Sarfaraz Ahmed elected to bowl and crafted a sparkling 50-run opening stand with Ali Imran, who struck six fours in his 27 off 16 balls. After Ali fell to Mohammad Hasnain, who took two wickets for 37 in four overs, Zeeshan ensured that the dismissal had no impact on Northern’s scoring rate as he smashed nine fours and a six and denied any opportunity to the opposition bowlers to settle. Zeeshan set up an 89-run partnership with Haider Ali, three matches after the pair had set the record for the highest second wicket stand (180) in the history of the National T20 Cup. Haider struck three sixes and two fours before Mir Hamza curtailed his stay at the crease on the first ball of the 14th over. Zeeshan’s innings ended in the 17th over as he was bowled by Sohail Khan. The right-arm fast bowler returned two for 40. With the stage set to post a big total, Umar Amin, batting at six, smashed three fours in 12 balls as he returned unbeaten on 20. Sindh were dealt an early blow in their run chase as Haris Rauf accounted for Sharjeel Khan ––- who orchestrated a seven-wicket win for his side with a 56-ball 77 against Central Punjab in their last match ––- on the third ball. A scintillating 55 by Azam Khan, his second of the format, pushed the opposition bowlers on the backfoot. The 22-year-old smoked five sixes and four fours in his 28-ball knock over the course of which he knitted a sparkling 82-run stand off 8.2 overs for the second wicket with Khurram Manzoor, who crossed the 3,000-run mark in T20 cricket over the course of his 64 off 52. Sindh’s run chase took a hit when Shadab, the Northern captain, removed Azam and Ahsan Ali (four off seven) in his back to back overs – ninth and 11th of the innings.Khurram batted deep and made sure that he held one end. He was stumped on the first ball of the last over. Sohail Khan was the second batsman to fall in the 20th over as Mohammad Nawaz, the left-arm orthodox, finished with two for 39. Khurram struck nine fours and a six. He was joined by Anwar Ali in the 15 over and the pair put a 53-run partnership from 26 balls. Anwar scored a blistering 17-ball 37, studded with five fours and two sixes. However, as it turned out, his knock came a little too late to save his side from their second defeat in three matches. Scores in brief:Northern 204-5, 20 overs (Zeeshan Malik 84, Haider Ali 35, Ali Imran 27, Umar Amin 20 not out; Mohammad Hasnain 2-37, Sohail Khan 2-40) VS Sindh 191-7, 20 overs (Khurram Manzoor 64, Azam Khan 55, Anwar Ali 37; Shadab Khan 2-34, Haris Rauf 2-38, Mohammad Nawaz 2-39 Result: Northern won by 13 runs.