Karachi Dolphins seal place in semis
Karachi Dolphins won what was essentially a must-win game for them against Lahore Eagles by five wickets, at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, to secure their spot in the semi-finals of the Faysal Bank Super Eight T-20 Cup. Karachi put Lahore in to bat and kept them to 148 for 8, as all of their bowlers shared the wickets around. Imran Farhat with 41 was the top-scorer for Lahore, and the innings was built around his two sizeable stands with Taufeeq Umar and then Azhar Ali. The Lahore bowlers made early inroads in the chase, before two rapid half-century stands among Khalid Latif, Asad Shafiq and Sheharyar Ghani put the team on course. Eventually Karachi got home with 11 balls to spare, despite a tidy spell from left-arm spinner Mustafa Iqbal, in which he took 3 for 26.
Karachi will play Lahore Lions in the first semi-final on Saturday.
Sialkot Stallions finished on top of Group B, ensuring a spot in the semis, with a convincing seven-wicket win against hosts Rawalpindi Rams. After Rawalpindi chose to bat, their batsmen struggled to build on starts and score at a rapid pace. Though four batsmen got into the 20s, Rawalpindi only managed to edge past 120 because of a last-over six from No. 10 Mohammad Nawaz. Left-arm spinner Raza Hasan was the most effective of the Sialkot bowlers, claiming 3 for 20 in his four. Chasing 122, Sialkot's top three batsmen all but closed out the game with partnerships of 50 and 55 at almost ten an over. Imran Nazir ended up the top-scorer, hitting four sixes in his knock of 59 off 34 balls, as Sialkot powered to a win with all of 27 balls to spare.
Sialkot will play Peshawar Panthers in the second semi-final on Saturday.