ABN-AMRO Cup 2007-08, Super Eights

National Bank and Habib Bank to meet in semis

Cricinfo staff

April 4, 2008

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Pool A


Kamran Akmal hit an 85-ball 80 to take National Bank of Pakistan in to the semi-finals © AFP
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Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) tied their second game in three but managed to qualify for the semi-finals nonetheless. They scored 272 in the 47 overs possible after bad weather forced the Sheikhupura game to be shortened. Rawalipindi Rams lost nine wickets in reaching par score in the same number of overs.

Saeed Anwar jnr, KRL's opener, top scored with 93 off 104 balls and added 122 runs with Mohammad Wasim for the third wicket. Azhar Ali (47) and Bazid Khan (34*) chipped in at the middle order. Rawalpindi lost their first three wickets with only four runs on the board. Usman Saeed (77) led the recovery, helped by Naved Ashraf (30) and Adnan Mufti (32). But Rawalpindi had lost eight wickets when they needed another 79 to win. Yasir Ali and Mohammad Rameez, Nos. 9 and 10, pushed towards the target in quick time. Yasir hit five fours in his 46-ball 51 and Rameez gave him company with a 30-ball 31. But KRL held their nerves and ran out Yasir off the last ball as the ninth-wicket pair scrambled for a winning single.

Despite half-centuries from Tariq Aziz and Bilal Khilji Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) could not avoid a 50-run defeat for at the hands of National Bank of Pakistan in Lahore. National Bank have qualified for the semis as well.

With an 85-ball 80, Kamran Akmal managed to push National Bank's total to 240. But the target proved to be more than enough as the nine other WAPDA batsmen scored 60 runs in all.

Pool B

Habib Bank Limited will be National Bank's semi-final opponents after they lost only five wickets in chasing Pakistan International Airlines' (PIA) 211 and wrapped up the game with over eight overs remaining at the National Stadium in Karachi.

Shoaib Malik, the Pakistan captain, top scored for PIA with 63 off 49 balls but received virtually no support from the other batsmen - the next highest score of the innings was Fahad Iqbal's 29. Abdur Rehman, the Pakistan left-arm spinner, picked up 4 for 51.

Habib Bank lost their first two wickets for 12 runs but Rafatullah Mohamand (57) and Aftab Alam (76) directed the chase with a 130-run stand. After the two were dismissed - by Malik - within 15 runs of each other, HBL lost only one more wicket before reaching the target.

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) bowled out Lahore Eagles for 144 and sealed a semi-final spot with a 128-run win in . Umar Akmal (81) and Misbah-ul-Haq (68) propelled SNGPL to 272. Waqas Ahmed took 3 for 43.

Lahore were never in the chase, losing four wickets for 37. Their ninth-wicket partnership for 40 was the highest of the innings. Ashraf Ali top scored with 35. SNGP will now play their semi-final match against KRL in Karachi on Monday.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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