Nazir, Malik give Sialkot big win
Attacking half-centuries from Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik helped Sialkot Stallions to a 39-run win against Hyderabad Hawks in Rawalpindi. Opting to bat, Sialkot's onslaught started when Nazir struck 20 runs in the first over off Rehan Riaz. He lost two partners soon but was joined by Malik as the duo put on 112 runs in 70 balls to take them past 150. Both fell in the last five overs - Nazir scored 93 off 51, with five fours and eight six, and Malik made 65 off 43 as Sialkot piled on 191 for 5.
Hyderabad also started strong as Malik conceded 19 in the second over to Sharjeel Khan, who fell two overs later for a 12-ball 25 to Bilawal Bhatti. Azeem Ghumman and Aqeel Anjum kept Hyderabad on track with a second-wicket stand of 66 which helped them cross the 100-run mark. But they lost two wickets in consecutive overs, including Ghumman for 42. Needing 81 from five overs Hyderabad managed 152 for 4 as Bhatti finished with 2 for 16 from four overs.
Four wickets from Imtiaz Ali gave Larkana Bulls a comfortable nine-wicket win over Karachi Dolphins in Islamabad. Asked to bat, Karachi were given a solid start by Khurram Manzoor with a 47-ball 51 but he didn't get any support from the other end as only the two openers reached double-digit scores. The rest of the nine batsmen scored 28 runs together as Imtiaz's 4 for 16 from his four overs routed Karachi for 94 in the penultimate over of the innings.
Larkana were cruising in their chase with an opening stand of 60 between Zafar Ali and Ahsan Ali before the former fell for 28. Ahsan, with an unbeaten 54, took them home in the 14th over with Ayaz Jamali who was not out on 16.
Group BMultan Tigers won their opening match of the tournament by beating Karachi Zebras by 49 runs in Rawalpindi. Put in to bat, Multan got a strong start with an opening stand of 59 in seven overs as Zeeshan Ashraf scored 40 off 21 with seven fours and a six. They lost two more wickets in the next three overs but a knock of 34 from Naved Yasin and a 10-ball 15 from Gulraiz Sadaf helped them score 37 in the last five overs to reach 140 for 7.
Karachi were given a stable start with an 18-ball 32 from Fakhar Zaman but they lost four wickets in a span of 12 deliveries, of which three were taken by Zulfiqar Babar, to stutter to 42 for 4. They never recovered from there as only two more batsmen reached double figures and were eventually bundled for 91 with three overs to spare. Babar finished with 4 for 16 in his four overs.
Ehsan Adil and Mohammad Talha starred in Faisalabad Wolves' 15-run win against Islamabad Leopards, their first in the tournament. Adil and Talha took three wickets each to restrict Islamabad to 143 for 8, in response to a target of 159.
Islamabad had good contributions from Babar Azam and Imad Wasim, who added 68 runs for the third wicket. Azam scored 40 off 38 balls while Wasim struck a 37-ball 54 with four fours and two sixes. Once both were dismissed, however, the rest of the Islamabad line-up offered little resistance.
Earlier, Asif Ali's unbeaten 43-ball 73 guided Faisalabad to 158 for 7. Asif's knock was the standout performance in an innings where the next best score was 19. The batsman slammed three fours and six sixes in his innings.
Fifties from Umar Siddiq and Umar Akmal, and a strong bowling performance helped Lahore Lions rout Dera Murad Jamali Ibexes by 82 runs.
Put in to bat, Lahore Lions put up a challenging 180 for 3 due, largely, to Siddiq and Akmal. The pair was involved in a 97-run, third-wicket partnership that was broken after Akmal was dismissed for 68 off 41 balls, with eight fours and a six. Siddiq remained unbeaten on 53 off 35 balls with six fours.
In reply, Dera Murad Jamali mustered a mere 98, as their innings stumbled from one collapse to another. Aizaz Cheema, Saad Nasim and Ahmed Shehzad took two wickets apiece. Mohammad Ayub top-scored for Dera Murad Jamali with 26 off 28 balls, and only two other batsmen managed double-digit scores.