Latif double takes Karachi to third straight win
Karachi Dolphins captain Khalid Latif led his team by example, scoring a blazing, unbeaten 204 - the sixth-highest in List A matches - laced with 19 fours and seven sixes as his team pinned Quetta Bears into submission with a 137-run win at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex. Latif received excellent support from Asad Shafiq, who made a 98-ball 105, as the pair punished the Quetta bowlers in a 239-run second-wicket stand, helping their team compile a mammoth 364.
Quetta, in their reply, struggled from the outset, collapsing to 99 for 6 - medium pacers Tariq Haroon and Afsar Nawaz took three wickets each - before an 80-run eighth-wicket stand between wicketkeeper Bismillah Khan and Imran Khan lent the team's score some respectability. Quetta, who started poorly in their reply, were always behind the eight-ball after Latif's double-century had dealt a massive blow to any hope of a win.
A collective bowling effort by Hyderabad Hawks handed them a convincing 63-run win against Abbottabad Rhinos at the Niaz Stadium. Each of the Hyderabad bowlers bagged at least one wicket - Kashif Bhatti, the left-arm spinner, took 3 for 32 - as Abbottabad, despite an opening stand of 64 between half-centurion Fawad Khan and Mir Azam, faltered in pursuit of a challenging 267. After the openers were separated, none of the subsequent stands exceeded 38 as fast bowler Lal Kumar and offspinner Sajjad Laghari supported Bhatti well in keeping the Abbottabad batsmen in check.
The Hyderabad bowlers were given the cushion of a testing score of 266 by opener Aqeel Anjum who anchored the innings with 93. The middle and lower-order batsmen chipped in with useful contributions, particularly Mohammad Urs and captain Pir Zulfiqar who were involved in a breezy 67-run stand for the seventh wicket with both scoring at a strike-rate of well over 100. As it turned out, their efforts paid off as the eventual score proved more than adequate.
On a day dominated by the side batting first, Multan Tigers inflicted a 102-run defeat on Rawalpindi Rams at the National Stadium. Multan, after being asked to bat, started off poorly with fast bowlers Rizwan Akbar and Mohammad Rameez making frequent inroads to leave the opposition reeling at 81 for 5. However, Kashif Naved led the recovery with an aggressive 107-ball 134 and the lower order batsmen, especially Rameez Alam, with whom he added 134 for the sixth wicket, rallied around him to take their team to a formidable score of 309 from a seemingly hopeless position.
Fast bowler Abdur Rauf, who has represented Pakistan in four ODIs, took 4 for 47 to shut Rawalpindi out of the match. They faltered in their response, losing their first three wickets for just 22 and though wicketkeeper Jamal Anwar and captain Babar Naeem added 110, the batsmen who followed offered little resistance. The Rawalpindi innings was wrapped up in the 37th over after Multan bagged the last seven wickets for 75.