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March 10, 2012
Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam cracked hundreds as Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited crushed Habib Bank Limited by 114 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium. Sharjeel and Azam were involved in a 229-run third-wicket stand that ultimately boosted ZTBL to an imposing 349 for 7. While Azam was relatively sedate in making 100 off 115 deliveries, Sharjeel smashed nine sixes and 15 fours on his way to 163 off only 128 balls. Habib Bank tried to keep up with the stiff asking rate, but also kept losing wickets, and were dismissed for 235 in the 40th over. Junaid Zia took 4 for 50.
Irfanuddin took five wickets but could not prevent State Bank of Pakistan from edging National Bank of Pakistan by nine runs at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Irfanuddin's haul restricted State Bank to 234 after they chose to bat with Kashif Siddiq (57) and Rameez Aziz (52) being the major contributors. National Bank had a poor start when they slipped to 9 for 2 but Umar Amin (53) steadied the innings and Qaiser Abbas kept them going. Abbas remained unbeaten on 83 off 94 but could not finish the job for his side as they ended up on 225 for 9.
A solid performance from the top order helped Pakistan International Airlines beat Water and Power Development Authority by four wickets in Faisalabad. Chasing 242 for victory, WAPDA's openers put on 54 with Faraz Ali making 69 and Agha Sabir an aggressive 32. Faraz added 106 for the second wicket with Shoaib Khan who motored to an unbeaten 86 off 105 as PIA won in the penultimate over. Their bowlers had earlier kept the WAPDA batsmen in check and bowled them out for 241, with only Ali Azmat managing a fifty.
Karachi Dolphins won narrowly by three runs against Islamabad Leopards who finished on 229 for 9 in response to the visitors' 232 at the Diamond Club Ground. Half-centuries from Afaq Raheem and Zeeshan Mushtaq had kept Islamabad in the hunt but Karachi kept taking wickets regularly. Once wicketkeeper Naeem Anjum (39) was dismissed by Tanvir Ahmed, the lower order could not get Islamabad home. Karachi's total had been set up on the back of Shahzaib Hasan's 67 and useful contributions from Mohammad Sami and Tanvir.
Mohammad Ayub's century was in vain as Abbottabad Falcons overhauled the target of 239 to beat Sialkot Stallions by seven wickets at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium. Ayub made 108 off 142 deliveries amid several of his team-mates wasting starts and guided Sialkot to 238 for 7. Abbottabad's opening pair, Mohammad Naeem (84) and Hammad Ali (97) took the game completely away from Sialkot with a 176-run stand. The hosts won comfortably in the 47th over.
Faisalabad Wolves' bowlers shot out Rawalpindi Rams for 163 to give their side a 61-run win at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Ehsan Adil and Aqeel Ahmed led with three wickets each as Rawalpindi never got going in their chase of 225 and were bowled out in 41 overs. Faisalabad had earlier recovered from a disastrous 94 for 5 to post 224 for 7, riding on fifties from Zeeshan Butt and Mohammad Salman. Yasim Murtaza's haul of 4 for 43 was in vain for Rawalpindi.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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