Habib Bank hang on to seal title
State Bank of Pakistan 162 (Yamin 54, Rehman 4-35) and 527 for 8 dec (Azam 266, Maqbool 49*) drew against Habib Bank Limited 356 (Kamran Hussain 76, Humayun 61, Bhatti 5-113) and 211 for 7 (Imran Farhat 80, Bhatti 4-74)
Habib Bank Limited won the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Silver League by virtue of a first-innings lead, after holding on for a draw in the final against State Bank of Pakistan in Faisalabad. Habib Bank made the early running in the match, as State Bank, opting to bat, were bundled out for 162 inside 41 overs. The opener Aamer Yamin stroked a 43-ball 54, but the team's next highest contribution was Zafar Gohar's 31 all the way down at No.10, as Abdur Rehman wrecked State Bank's middle order with 4 for 35.
Habib Bank lost Imran Farhat early in their reply, but Humayun Farhat (61) and Kamran Hussain (76) both raised half-centuries during a 96-run partnership, lifting the total 356. Kashif Bhatti picked up a five-for (5 for 113), but Habib Bank were aided by handy knocks from Aftab Alam (43), Hasan Raza (45) and Fahad Masood (28), as they collected a vital lead of 194.
This meant that State Bank needed an outright win to claim the title, and their opener Babar Azam took it upon himself to ensure his team stood a fighting chance. Azam batted for nearly 10 hours, striking 29 fours and five sixes to score a career-best 266. No other batsman was able to make a fifty, but Azam's knock was enough to State Bank to 527 for 8, after which they declared, setting Habib Bank a challenging 334 for victory.
State Bank had more than a day to bowl Habib Bank out and secure the title, and looked to be on course for the win as Gohar (3 for 68) and Bhatti (4 for 74) dealt regular blows. Habib Bank were precariously placed at 157 for 5 with more than 30 overs left, but Imran Farhat resisted with a 217-ball 80. His dismissal in the 107th over dragged the team down to 208 for 7, but Fahad and Masood safely batted out the final 11 overs to seal the title for Habib Bank.