PIA thump Customs for third straight win
Sialkot Stallions survived a blistering spell from Saad Altaf and Rauf Akbar to pocket a 39-run win over Islamabad Leopards at the Diamond Club Ground. The fast bowling pair had Sialkot foundering at 51 for 6 - with five wickets going down for nine runs - after Islamabad chose to field. Nayyer Abbas (65) and Bilawal Bhatti repaired the damage with a 66-run stand before Ahmed Butt's whirlwind 65 sent them on their way to a competitive 245. Islamabad struggled to build partnerships during their chase, and were soon faltering at 91 for 4. Captain Zohaib Ahmed, who top scored with 64, and Ashar Zaidi forged a 69-run stand, and it was still anyone's game at 160 for 4. Not content with just his batting heroics, Abbas then took three wickets with his left-arm spin to bowl out Islamabad for 206 and consign them to their first defeat.
At the Arbab Niaz Stadium, Zeeshan Asif's unbeaten 170 powered Faisalabad Wolves to a comfortable 77-run victory over Peshawar Panthers. Asif, who hit six sixes and 13 fours in his 141-ball innings, built century stands with Hasan Mahmood (67) and Ijaz Ahmed jnr (63) to help Faisalabd surge to 359. Medium-pacer Waqar Ahmed was the only one to escape the onslaught, returning with 10-1-37-1, with the rest having economy rates in excess of seven. In reply, opener Fawad Ali made 41, and seventies from Mohammad Rizwan and Sajjad Ahmed took Peshawar to what seemed a healthy 164 for 2, but they couldn't get their runs at a quick enough pace. With the asking-rate mounting, Peshawar's chase fizzled, eventually finishing well short on 282.
Group CPakistan International Airlines thrashed Pakistan Customs by eight wickets at the Khan Research Laboratory Ground to win their third consecutive match. It was a one-man show from Customs, with in-form opener Jibran Khan making a century. No one else in the top eight made more than 12, they were stuttering at 78 for 8. Jibran stitched together a 98-run stand with No. 10 Fawad Ahmed, who made 35, and the pair helped Customs put up 195. That target didn't pose much of a challenge for PIA. Their openers, Khurram Manzoor and Sarfraz Ahmed, made aggressive half-centuries to set PIA on track. Shoaib Malik's 27-ball 38 completed the job, taking them to victory with nearly 25 overs to spare and left Customs without a victory in three matches.
Left-arm spinner Adnan Malik and fast bowler Sohail Khan shared nine wickets to send Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited crashing to a 99-run defeat against Sui Southern Gas Corporation at the Marghzar Cricket Ground. Chasing 283, ZTBL's top order was blown away by Sohail before Adnan spun out the middle order. With none of the top seven making more than 25, the chase was never on, and Zohaib Khan's 44 could only help reduce the margin of victory. In contrast to ZTBL, SSGC's batsmen put on a strong show. Opener Asif Zakir led the way with a watchful 121 with the late impetus being provided by Ashraf Ali's hurricane 61.