Karachi Zebras qualify for semi-finals
Pakistan Television prevailed over Abbottabad Falcons by 11 runs at the Gohati Cricket Stadium in Swabi. Opener Umair Khan starred with an unbeaten 124 and held one end together as he lost partners at the other. The Falcons had managed to limit Pakistan Television to 124 for 6 but Umair found good support from No.8 batsman Yasim Murtaza who scored a quickfire half-century in a stand of 118. Pakistan Television managed to post a competitive 255 for 7, a score they were ultimately able to defend. The Falcons reply began in encouraging fashion with an opening stand of 47 but Zahoor Khan, with his medium pace, helped restrict them to 103 for 5. The sixth-wicket pair of Khalid Usman and Abid Khan revived the chase with a 107-run stand but Zahoor struck two more blows down the order to limit Falcons to 244 for 8. Pakistan Television, however, could not qualify for the semi-final as their net run-rate, despite the win, was lower than Lahore Eagles.
Khan Research Laboratories continued their unbeaten run in this tournament, trouncing Peshawar Panthers by nine wickets at the Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar. The Panthers, after opting to bat, could only muster 195 despite their batsmen getting starts. Among the seven batsmen who reached double-figures, the highest was 49 from Nasir Shah. The pace-bowling pair of Yasir Shah and Shakeel-ur-Rehman shared seven wickets to restrict the Panthers. In response, the KRL openers led the charge with a stand of 124 - Saeed Anwar jnr remained unbeaten on 75 while Ali Khan smashed seven fours and three sixes in his 78. The target was scaled down with more than 13 overs to spare and the Panthers finished at the bottom of the Group B table.
Karachi Zebras sealed their place in the semi-finals with a seven-run win over Hyderabad Hawks at the National Stadium in Karachi. The Zebras had been tottering at 76 for 4 but Wajihuddin and Akbar-ur-Rehman struck half-centuries to help their team recover with a 128-run stand. But the Zebras folded for 227, courtesy a haul of 6 for 35 by left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti. However, his effort was to be in vain. Mohammad Sami starred for the Zebras with a five-wicket haul to squeeze out a close victory. He removed the openers before Aqeel Anjum, dismissed just one short of a century, and Rizwan Ahmed resurrected the innings with a 122-run stand. But Sami struck again and the Hawks lost their way, slipping to 169 for 6. Though Anjum fought hard, the lower order was not able to challenge the Zebras enough to scrape the past their total. The Zebras will take on Khan Research Laboratories in the second semi-final in Hyderabad.
State Bank of Pakistan made it four in four with a 152-run humbling of Lahore Lions at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex in Karachi. No SBP batsman managed a half-century but there was consistency throughout the batting line-up as the top eight chipped in with useful thirties and forties, and built useful partnerships to stretch the score to 297. The Lions were hapless in their reply, having to rely on their last pair to take them past 100. Seamer Mohammad Naved took 4 for 63 and was backed up superbly by the remaining bowlers.