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March 14, 2012
Faisal Iqbal cracked an unbeaten century to take Pakistan International Airlines to a thrilling win over Habib Bank at the Gaddafi Stadium. Coming in at 39 for 4 in a chase of 243, Iqbal hit ten boundaries in making 107 off 106 deliveries. Shoaib Malik (44) was the only batsman to support Iqbal in a 94-run partnership after the top order had caved in to Fahad Masood and Aftab Alam. Wickets continued to fall but Iqbal did not give in at the other end as he eventually took PIA home in the final over. Hasan Raza top-scored for Habib Bank with an unbeaten 56 with Ahmed Shehzad contributing 42. Zia-ul-Haq dismissed the Habib Bank openers on his way to 3 for 49.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited's lower order collapsed as State Bank of Pakistan won narrowly by two runs at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. ZTBL were 228 for 6 chasing 240, and lost their last four wickets for nine runs to be dismissed for 237. Hasan Mahmood struck twice while the last two batsmen were run out. Adnan Rasool had given State Bank an opening when he bowled Abdul Razzaq (55) and Imran Nazir (49) who had helped ZTBL recover from 58 for 3. Fifties from Rameez Raja, Rameez Aziz and Gulraiz Sadaf had earlier taken State Bank to 239. Razzaq claimed 5 for 50 but his haul was to be in vain in the end.
Water and Power Development Authority's lower order held their nerve in a low-scoring game to hand their side a three-wicket win over National Bank of Pakistan at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. WAPDA were tottering at 124 for 7 in reply to National Bank's 156 but Ali Azmat and Zulfiqar Babar ensured there were no further issues for their side as they patiently brought up victory in the 46th over. Rafatullah Mohmand (47) had lifted WAPDA from 12 for 2 after their bowlers had dismissed National Bank for 156. Azharullah and Imran Khan picked up two wickets each while Babar chipped in with three strikes. Fawad Alam (52) was the lone National Bank batsman to make more than 30.
Khalid Usman hammered 50 off 23 to take Abbottabad Falcons to a thrilling last-over two-wicket win against Rawalpindi Rams at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. At 224 for 8, Abbottabad's chase of 268 was almost over but Usman smashed nine boundaries and along with Inam Khan, who made 10 off seven, carried his side to victory with just two balls to spare. Usman's effort ensured the starts from Rameez Ahmed (46), Almar Afridi (50) and Riaz Kail (47) were not in vain. Rawalpindi shrugged off an underwhelming start to post 267 for 8 riding on Umar Waheed (62) and Yasim Murtaza (68).
Faisalabad Wolves' bowlers set up a five-wicket win against Karachi Dolphins in Sargodha. Waqas Maqsood, Naseer Akram and Aqeel Ahmed dismissed Karachi for 154 in the 42nd over. While Maqsood picked up four wickets, Naseer snapped up three of the top five Karachi batsmen. Only opener Khalid Latif (79) managed to resist but he hardly had any support. Faisalabad were themselves struggling at 38 for 3 in their chase, but Hasan Mahmood settled the nerves with a fifty and Zeeshan Butt and Mohammad Salman took over from 119 for 5 as Faisalabad got home in the 40th over.
Sialkot Stallions crushed Islamabad Leopards by eight wickets at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot. Mohammad Yasin led the chase of 152 with a breezy 84 upfront. Mansoor Amjad contributed an unbeaten 41 at No. 4 as Sialkot stormed to victory in just 31.5 overs. The win had been set up by the efforts of the Sialkot bowlers, who dismantled Islamabad for 151. Atif Jabbar led with three strikes and it was only due to Faizan Riaz (71) that Islamabad managed to go past 100 after having slipped to 77 for 6.
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