ZTBL punch semi-final ticket
Medium-pacer Najaf Shah spearheaded an incisive bowling performance from Pakistan International Airlines as they thumped Pakistan Television, who were 0 for 5 at one stage, by 10 wickets in Lahore. Najaf finished with 4 for 26 to run through a Pakistan TV batting order that offered next to nothing apart from a 59-run seventh-wicket stand between the captain Zohaib Ahmed and Yasim Murtaza. But the partnership made little difference in the end, as Pakistan TV could only muster up 96 runs from their 20 overs. Their poor batting effort saw nine of their batsmen fail to reach double-digit scores, with five of them being dismissed for ducks.
PIA needed less than 15 overs to overhaul this paltry target, as Kamran Sajid and the captain Sarfraz Ahmed put up an opening-stand of 97. Sarfraz struck seven fours during his 50- his second Twenty20 half-century, while Sajid's 39 included four fours.
National Bank of Pakistan suffered a third straight defeat when they lost to United Bank Limited by six wickets at Lahore City Cricket Association ground. Opting to bowl, UBL restricted NBP on 127, with left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti picking up 3 for 27. Sami Aslam (23 off 32) Usman Qadir (36) were the only batsman to offer fight. Solid top-order contributions ensured the target of 128 was reached with five balls to spare. Abid Ali's 48 of 36 provided the initial impetus, Bismillah Khan made sure one end was secure while Wajihuddin struck a 11-ball 20 to help seal the chase. Usman Qadir and Raza Hassan picked up two wickets apiece for NBP.
Fifties from Zain Abbas and Naved Yasin led Khan Research Laboratories to a seven-wicket victory over State Bank of Pakistan. SBP lost an early wicket after opting to bat but Kashif Siddiq (37 off 44) stabilized the innings. Rameez Raja (46 off 33) and a late push from Usman Saeed (20 off 16) took them to 141. KRL suffered early losses as well but opener Abbas (56* off 52) and Yasin (54* off 40) put on 110 for the fourth wicket to help overhaul the target quite comfortably. Seamer Faisal Yasin with 3 for 13 was the pick of the bowlers for SBP.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited became the first team to qualify for the semi-final after beating Water and Power Development Authority by five wickets. Left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar picked up 4 for 20 to limit WAPDA to 101 and later hit two sixes and two fours in his 17-ball 30 to inspire his side to emphatic victory. Five WAPDA batsmen were dismissed for single figures as opener Aamer Sajjad (23 off 34) and Sarfraz Ahmed (25 off 14) were the only batsmen to offer resistance. ZTBL stumbled during the chase, losing four quick wickets, but the target was soft enough that they reached home with three overs to spare.
Port Qasim Authority recovered from their overnight defeat to get the better of Habib Bank Limited by 39 runs and climb to third place in the Faysal Bank T20 tournament. However, HBL are out of the running for a semi-final spot after two consecutive losses. Asked to bat first, PQA's openers put up a solid 60-run stand but were dismissed in space of three balls. The scoring rate dipped thereafter with PQA reaching their hundred in the 14th over. But Khurram Manzoor (57 off 35) and Faraz Ali (32 off 31) plundered 65 runs in last six overs to post a fighting total of 165. HBL's reply was sloppy. They were 31 for 4 when Hasan Raza (48 off 47) and Umar Gul (15 off 18) attempted to stabilise the innings, but PQA bowlers were too hot to handle. Sohail Khan, with 3 for 14, was the pick of the bowlers while Mohammad Talha, Mohammad Sami and Kamran Younis picked up two wickets each.