Easy wins for Habib Bank, PIA
Unbeaten half-centuries by Asad Shafiq and Hasan Raza helped Habib Bank Limited ease to a seven-wicket win against United Bank Limited in a Group B match in Karachi. Chasing 201, Habib Bank were reduced to 87 for 3, but Shafiq and Raza steadied the innings and put up an unbeaten stand of 116 for the fourth wicket, overhauling the target comfortably in the 38th over. Imran Farhat, the opener, added vital 49 runs at the start of the innings.
Put into bat, United Bank were reduced to a precarious 110 for 7 after an incisive spell by Mohammad Aslam, who took four wickets. But Kashif Bhatti slammed a quick fifty down the order and added 71 runs for the eighth wicket with Mohammad Irshad which helped United Bank end their innings on 200.
Pakistan International Airlines earned their first points on the table with a commanding eight-wicket win against State Bank of Pakistan in Karachi. Openers Kamran Sajid and Agha Sabir, both of whom scored fifties, added 118 for the first wicket setting a strong platform in their chase of 197. Sabir fell for 72, but Kamran stayed unbeaten as PIA completed the chase in the 42nd over. Hasan Mahmood picked up both wickets to fall.
State Bank opted to bat but lost opener Kashif Siddiq early. After a strong stand for the second wicket, by Gulraiz Sadaf and Rameez Raja, they started losing regular wickets and were bowled out for 196 in 45 overs. Aizaz Cheema inflicted the most damage with 3 for 37 while Salman Saeed and Adeel Malik accounted for two wickets each.
Umar Amin's fighting century for Port Qasim Authority went in vain as they lost their Group A match against Khan Research Laboratories in Lahore by 40 runs. Amin forged a critical century stand for the sixth wicket with Aariz Kamal that kept the team's hopes alive after they were reduced to 127 for 5 in chase of 313. But soon after Yasir Arafat accounted for both batsmen, their challenge ended with the team being bowled in the 48th over.
Earlier, Khan Research Labs were given a strong start by their openers, with Zain Abbas scoring a half-century and their middle order chipped in with useful runs. The push, though, came through Shoaib Ahmed (53 off 45 balls) and Saeed Anwar jnr (33 off 20) and the team racked up a formidable total of 312.
An aggressive half-century by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited's captain Misbah-ul-Haq set up the team's 76-run win over National Bank of Pakistan in Lahore. After Mohammad Hafeez was dismissed early, Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali set up a strong platform for Sui Gas. But from 97 for 1, they slipped to 177 for 6 before Misbah resurrected the innings with a 60-ball 79 that included six fours and four sixes to help the team finish on 262.
National Bank's chase got off to a poor start when Nasir Jamshed was run out early. Sami Aslam and Kamran Akmal added 57 for the second wicket, but then they lost the next four wickets for 14 runs. Fawad Alam and Mohammad Nawaz scored half-centuries but were kept in a tight leash and they were only able to manage 186.