All-round Imad Wasim helps Leopards to big win
A century from Afaq Raheem and a half-century from the captain Imad Wasim helped Islamabad Leopards to a massive 356 and set up a 103-run win against Hyderabad Hawks at Diamond Club Ground. Wasim also took three wickets with his left-arm spin to cap a fine all-round performance. Leopards were put in to bat and they were powered initially by a stand of 137 between Raheem and Asadullah Sumari. Raheem was dismissed for 126 off 100 balls with 16 fours and four sixes. Wasim was responsible for the fireworks towards the end with 82 off 42 balls with nine fours and three sixes. For Hawks, Haris Khan, Faisal Athar and Lal Kumar scored half-centuries but succumbed to the huge target, getting bowled out for 253 within 38 overs.
A four-wicket haul by the left-arm spinner Mohammad Irfan helped Multan Tigers sneak in a nine-run win in a low-scoring match against Lahore Lions in Lahore. Chasing 169, the Tigers fell from 58 for 1 to 82 for 6. Irfan cut through the middle order to finish with miserly figures of 4 for 12 from nine overs and the Tigers were bowled out for 159, with Aamer Yamin resisting with 45 off 40 balls. Earlier, Waqas Saleem was the top scorer for Lions with 34 but the middle and lower order failed to chip in. Ahad Raza, the offspinner, finished with 4 for 31. Lions could only make 168, but it turned out to be a winning score.
In another low-scoring encounter, in Karachi, an eighth-wicket stand of 32 between Saad Ali and Khurram Shahzad helped Karachi Dolphins to a three-wicket win over Quetta Bears. Chasing 170, the Dolphins were comfortably placed at 81 for 1 but a three-wicket burst by Mohibullah reduced them to 105 for 5, and later 137 for 7. Shahzad and Saad, unbeaten on 44, saw them through. It was a similar story for the Bears as well after they were put in to bat. Led by Abid Ali's 45, they progressed to 89 for 1 and then collapsed to 125 for 7. Shahzaib Ahmed took 4 for 31 to bowl out Bears for 169.
At the National Stadium, Karachi Zebras sneaked home by four runs against Lahore Eagles to claim their third successive win. Put in to bat, Zebras were bowled out for 182, led by the opener Ashraf Ali's 59. Qaiser Ashraf and Tanzeel Altaf took three wickets each. Chasing 183, the Eagles' top order made starts but couldn't carry on. Zeeshan Ali top scored with 37 but his side failed to match the asking rate and ended on 178 for 8.
Half-centuries by Naved Malik, Awais Zia and Muzammil Nizam helped Rawalpindi Rams beat Peshawar Panthers by five wickets in a high-scoring game at Rawalpindi Stadium. Malik and Zia made 59 and 55 respectively to set the Rams on course in their chase of 270. Nizam's unbeaten 68 off 56 balls saw the side through with more than three overs to spare. Their knocks overshadowed fifties by Panthers' opener Iftikhar Ahmed and an unbeaten 90 by Mehran Ibrahim. Ahmed's knock laid the foundation while Ibrahim took the score to 269, hitting 11 fours and a six.
An unbeaten 63 from Kamran Ghulam helped Abbottabad Falcons to a four-wicket win over Sialkot Stallions in Abbottabad. Chasing 220, the Falcons were in a spot of bother at 172 for 6, but Ghulam's unbeaten 63 off 65 balls saw them through. For the Stallions, there were no hefty contributions apart from Naved Sarwar's 72. The others batted around Sarwar, who remained unbeaten. Aziz-ur-Rehman and Shakeel Shah took three wickets apiece.