State Bank, PTV start with wins
Pakistan Television scored 13 runs off the last four balls from Wahab Riaz to chase 167 and beat National Bank of Pakistan by seven wickets at the Gaddafi Stadium. The loss was an upset for NBP, a team with a bowling line-up laden with some of the best spinners and pacers. Asked to bat first, NBP were off to a wobbly start before Fawad Alam (43 off 34) anchored two pivotal partnerships, 54 with Usman Qadir (35 off 28) and 50 with Hammad Azam (27 off 19), to boost the total to 166. PTV, in reply, chased the target in 19.4 overs as Haroon Ahmed (64* off 48) and Zeeshan Mushtaq (66 off 47) combined for a 102-run stand for the second wicket.
State Bank of Pakistan ripped through United Bank Limited's batting line-up, beating them by 28 runs. SBP opted to bat but lost five wickets for 49 runs, before Farrukh Shehzad (72 off 61) and Rizwan Haider (22 off 17) held their nerve to help the side post 126. Spinners Atif Maqbool and Kashif Bhatti picked up five wickets between them. UBL lost their openers for ducks in reply, leaving their chase in trouble. Tariq Haroon (25) and Wajihuddin (50 off 41) tried to stabilise the innings but no other batsman could carry the momentum as they lost wickets at regular intervals to be restricted to 98 in 18 overs.
Shoaib Malik led Pakistan International Airlines to a seven-wicket win against Khan Research Laboratory with an unbeaten half-century at the Gaddafi Stadium. PIA opted to bowl first and restricted KRL to 135 for 7, before chasing the target with three balls to spare.
KRL lost their openers in quick succession, leaving captain Saeed Anwar (45 off 36) and Usman Salahuddin (50 off 40) to do the repair work. The duo shared a 75-run stand for the third wicket to propel the innings. Once the partnership ended, however, KRL scored only 19 runs in the last 17 balls and lost four wickets.
PIA responded strongly with the openers laying a solid foundation, adding 40 runs. Later Faisal Iqbal (23 off 18) and Malik (54* off 38) joined hands for a 50-run stand for the third wicket. PIA lost three wickets in the chase but Malik led the side home safely.
Water and Power Development Authority were beaten by Habib Bank Limited by seven wickets in a low-scoring encounter in Lahore. WAPDA's decision to bat backfired as no batsman scored big in the middle order and only Naed-ul-Hasan and Mohammad Ayub resisted with 23 and 26 respectively. Seamers Ehsan Adil and Umar Gul, and left-arm spinner Mohammad Aslam picked up two wickets apiece to restrict WAPDA to 117 for 9. HBL lost their openers cheaply but Imran Farhat (32 off 21), Younis Khan (33*) and Hasan Raza (40* off 42) took down the modest target in 19.3 overs.
Sharjeel Khan steered Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited to a seven-wicket win against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited with a quickfire 72 off 51. SNGPL were put in to bat and were led by No. 4 Khurram Shehzad (45 off 38) after a 31-run opening stand. But Imran Khan and Zafar Gohar took four wickets between them and restricted SNGPL to 141 for 8. ZTBL lost an opener early in reply before Sharjeel took the innings ahead with his knock of 72. Shahid Yousuf scored an unbeaten 44 at No. 4 to take ZTBL home with three balls to spare.