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March 31, 2012
Shakeel Ansar smashed an unbeaten century as Sialkot Stallions brushed aside Peshawar Panthers by 40 runs at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. It was 33-year old Ansar's first hundred in any format. Before this game, he had an average of 18.91 and a strike-rate of 107.58 from 25 Twenty20s. Today, Ansar cracked 12 boundaries in his 100 off 67 and added 158 for the second wicket along with Haris Sohail (69 off 45). The stand was the third-highest in T20s in Pakistan and lifted Sialkot to an imposing 197 for 1. The only wicket Sialkot lost was that of Imran Nazir with the score on 39 in the fourth over. Ansar and Haris shut Peshawar out of the game after that.
Peshawar never looked like challenging Sialkot after Abdur Rehman jolted them with three strikes in the space of nine deliveries. He trapped Israrullah lbw before bowling Rafatullah Mohmand and Zohaib Khan as Peshawar slipped to 62 for 4. Only Gauhar Ali resisted with a half-century but it wasn't enough to get Peshawar anywhere close to the target. Peshawar eventually ended on an underwhelming 157 for 8.
Shahzaib Hasan's whirlwind 57 off 28 deliveries set up Karachi Dolphins' seven-wicket win over Lahore Lions at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Shahzaib gave Karachi the start they needed in their chase of 168 as he put on 78 for the opening wicket with Khalid Latif (45 off 35) in just 6.4 overs. By the time Shahzaib was dismissed after smashing ten boundaries, the asking-rate had fallen to below seven runs an over. The Karachi middle order, led by Sheharyar Ghani and Asad Shafiq, brought up victory with an over to spare.
Lahore's score of 167 for 7 had been built with the help of contributions from Kashif Siddiq (48 off 35) and Nasir Jamshed (36 off 26). But their heavyweight middle order of Kamran and Umar Akmal and Abdul Razzaq could not capitalise on a strong position of 113 for 2 in the 12th over and Lahore eventually fell short of posting a stiffer target.
The final between Sialkot and Karachi will be played tomorrow at 7 pm local time in Rawalpindi.
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Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough