Faisalabad, Karachi seal victories on opening day
A solid all-round performance by Faisalabad Wolves helped them ease past Multan Tigers by 69 runs in the first game of the Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad.
Multan began well after choosing to bowl, removing Mohammad Hafeez for a duck. Faisalabad's No. 3 batsman Asif Ali counterattacked, putting on century and half-century stands with Asif Hussain and Misbah-ul-Haq on his way to a 59-ball hundred. Asif Ali's knock included seven sixes, and ensured Multan needed to chase 200.
Quick cameos from Multan's top order kept them in the game in the first half of the chase. Hafeez struck twice, removing Zeeshan Ashraf and Naved Yasin in consecutive overs, to begin a slide. Left-arm spinner Hasan Mahmood polished off the middle and lower order with figures of 5 for 23, as Multan lost their last seven wickets for 46 runs.
Tight spells from seamer Tariq Haroon and offspinner Haaris Ayaz helped Karachi Dolphins defend a middling total against Rawalpindi Rams in the second game, played at the same ground. Chasing 146, Rawalpindi lost a couple of early wickets to fast bowler Tanvir Ahmed and never quite recovered. Haroon struck twice, on either side of a run-out, and by the eighth over Rawalpindi were five down. Umar Amin stayed firm and ended up with 54 not out, but Rawalpindi were never abreast of the required-rate and were eventually bowled out. The Karachi spinners wrapped up the rest of the wickets, with Ayaz taking 2 for 15 and left-arm spinner Azam Hussain taking three.
Having chosen to bat, Karachi were given a quick start by Shahzaib Hasan, who scored 35 off 28 and Rameez Raja (2), who got 29 off 20. Wickets fell in the middle overs and Karachi were not able to make a final push; only 23 runs came off the last four overs. But the total of 145 proved enough in the end.