Hasan, batsmen shine in Sialkot triumph
Sialkot Stallions 170 for 2 (Malik 62*, Sohail 55*) beat Karachi Dolphins 167 for 8 (Latif 81*, Hasan 4-33) by eight wickets
After eight action-packed days at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, it was the favourites, Sialkot Stallions, who came out on top. Sialkot, the six-times national Twenty20 champions, recovered from a shaky beginning with the ball to limit Karachi Dolphins to 167 and then knocked off the runs with eight wickets to spare to lift the Faysal Bank Super-Eight trophy for the first time.
It was Karachi who won the toss and elected to bat, and the decision seemed to have paid off when they powered past 60 in the Powerplay. Their attack was led by opener Khalid Latif, who carried his bat through the innings to finish with 81 off 59. The main support was provided by Shahzaib Hasan and Asad Shafiq, who made scores in the 30s.
Karachi, though, failed to make the best use of their fine start, as the in-form left-arm spinner Raza Hasan ran through the lower middle order. Hasan began the slide with his fielding, running out Shafiq with the score on 153 for 2 in the 18th. Off the remaining 14 balls Karachi managed 14 for 5.
Chasing 168, Sialkot lost Shakeel Ansar early but took control thereafter. Imran Nazir scored a rapid 41, before an unbroken stand of 119 at close to nine an over between Shoaib Malik and Haris Sohail sealed the game in the 19th over.
For the final, 20,000-odd people thronged the Rawalpindi stadium, with its newly-renovated stands. There were a further 15,000 fans outside the stadium, doing their best to catch glimpses of the action. Adding to the importance of the occasion, was the presence of Pakistan's selectors and coach, Dav Whatmore. With the World Twenty20 being scheduled for later this year, the officials were at all the Super-Eight matches, keeping an eye on the talent on offer.