Karachi sneak past Rawalpindi in thriller
Karachi Dolphins' lower order held their nerve in a thrilling one-wicket win over Rawalpindi Rams at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium as Naved Malik's unbeaten century was in vain. When Karachi slid to 208 for 8 chasing Rawalpindi's 260, it seemed all over for the visitors. But No 9 Misbah Khan had no intentions of giving up, and his unbeaten 37 took Karachi home with seven deliveries remaining. He was well supported by Rumman Raees, and the duo had taken their side to 245 when Raees was dismissed for 19. But last man Tabish Khan survived four deliveries, and together with Misbah, saw Karachi through. Naved's maiden List A century had earlier rescued Rawalpindi from 132 for 5 along with wicketkeeper Jamal Anwar, who made an unbeaten 65 off 45 balls. Karachi were tottering at 134 for 6 in reply despite opener Adnan Baig's half-century, but the lower order rose to the occasion.
Imran Farhat slammed 150, his highest List A score, as Habib Bank surged to a 130-run victory against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited in Islamabad. Farhat and Taufeeq Umar put on 74 runs for the opening stand, and the middle order built on the solid platform. Shan Masood added 147 for the third wicket with Imran who fell with Habib Bank eight short of 300. Humayun Farhat, Imran's brother, ensured Habib Bank finished on a high, cracking seven boundaries in his unbeaten 36 off 13. The target of 339 was always going to prove tough, but when medium-pacer Fahad Masood reduced SNGPL to 70 for 5, they surrendered any remaining chance they had. Saleem Mughal (70) was the only batsman to cross 30, as SNGPL caved in for 208.
Sheharyar Ghani led Pakistan International Airlines to an eight-wicket win over Islamabad Leopards at the Diamond Club Ground as PIA chased down 250 comfortably. Ghani came in after the opening partnership had yielded 48, and remained unbeaten on 105, his maiden List A century. Faisal Iqbal cantered to an unbeaten half-century as well, as PIA eased to victory with 40 deliveries to spare. PIA's bowlers led by Anwar Ali (3 for 51) had earlier dismissed Islamabad for 250 despite Zeeshan Mushtaq's 75. Mazhar Abbasi (39) and Imad Wasim (45) could not carry on after getting starts and Islamabad fell short of a competitive total.
Multan Tigers notched up their second win, thumping Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited by 166 runs at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. It was a one-sided affair from the start: Multan were put in to bat and their openers put together an opening stand of 118; contributions from the middle-order and some late hitting took them to 325; and ZTBL's chase never got going as they were bowled out for 159 in 34.1 overs. Zain Abbas played the anchor role for Multan, scoring 96, while Imranullah Aslam and Kashif Naved hit quick half-centuries. Imran Nazir and Shahid Yousuf scored half-centuries for ZTBL, but only one other batsman got into double figures as they were bowled out well inside the 50 overs.
It was another one-sided affair at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad, where Faisalabad Wolves chased down Sialkot Stallions' 207 for the loss of just two wickets, with 39 balls to spare. Sialkot chose to bat but were greeted by a devastating spell from Naseer Akram, playing in only his second List A match. Naseer took four wickets and Sialkot were soon 61 for 5. Mohammad Ayub and Shehzad Malik staged a recovery with a 104-run partnership, but legspinner Zaheer Maqsood wiped out Sialkot's tail and they couldn't last the 50 overs. Faisalabad were always comfortable in their chase. The openers put together 75, and then Shahid Siddiq and Hasan Mahmood scored half-centuries to take Faisalabad home.
National Bank of Pakistan also completed their chase with time to spare, beating Water and Power Development Authority by six wickets at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. NBP bowled WAPDA out for 213 and then got to the total in 40.3 overs thanks to Fawad Alam's 78 off 60 balls and Hammad Azam's 58 off 61. NBP had lost two early wickets in their chase, but once Alam and Azam got going, they were in control of the match. WAPDA had needed a recovery from the lower order to get past 200. Their top order had been toppled by seamers Mohammad Talha and Uzair-ul-Haq, and they slumped to 80 for 6. Wicketkeeper Ahmed Said and Nawaz Sardar put together 101 for the seventh wicket to add some respectability to WAPDA's score. Talha finished with figures of 6 for 38, while Uzair took 4 for 52.