Bowlers, Umar Akmal fashion easy win for Lahore Lions
A searing opening burst from Abdul Razzaq, and a typically belligerent half-century from Umar Akmal ensured a nine-wicket victory for Lahore Lions against Multan Tigers at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Razzaq stunned the Tigers with wickets off the first two balls of the game, and Shabbir Ahmed struck twice from the other end to leave the score reading 15 for 4. Rameez Alam resisted with 42, but no one else in the top seven managed to cross five. From 49 for 7, the final score of 92 was an improvement and came thanks to a 42-run stand between Rizwan Haider and Abdur Rauf for the eighth wicket.
Ahmed Shehzad departed early in the chase, but Akmal was in punishing mood, striking 11 fours in his innings to take his side home in the 15th over.
Abbottabad Falcons were guided by a composed half-century from Adnan Raees to seal victory against Peshawar Panthers after their bowlers kept the target to a manageable 124 in Lahore.
After the Falcons elected to field, Nabeeullah had the Panthers in early trouble with two quick wickets. Khalid Usman and Yasir Shah kept up the pressure, snaring 5 for 38 in eight overs as the Panthers struggled for momentum. Haroon Ahmed's run-a-ball 33 was the saving grace and gave his side something to bowl at.
Mir Azam and Wajid Ali departed early in the chase, giving the Falcons a scare, but Raees calmed the nerves with a well-paced innings. His 58 came off 47 balls, and support from Mohammad Kashif and Ahmed Said took their side past the line in 18.4 overs.
Earlier, Islamabad Leopards bucked the trend of chasing sides winning the match, but only just, as they defended 149 by the margin of four runs against Quetta Bears at the Gaddafi Stadium. The Leopards score was based on a solid opening stand between Raheel Majeed and Umair Khan that raised 76 in 10.3 overs. Naeem Anjum hustled 24 off 12 balls in the closing stages to prop up the final tally, while Jalat Khan finished with figures of 4 for 22.
Mir Wais fell early in the chase, but Shoaib Khan jnr was in his element, striking 11 fours and a six in his 66 which came off 46 balls. Bismillah Khan offered steady support, but after his exit in the ninth over, the Leopards tightened the screws. Abid Ali crawled to 20 off 31 balls as the pressure mounted, and the game was in the balance when Shoaib departed in the 17th over. With five runs required for a win off the final delivery, Iftikhar Anjum got Jalat to offer a catch to Fayyaz Ahmed, confirming victory for the Leopards.