Rawalpindi displace Peshawar as Gold League table-leaders
Rawalpindi reached the top of the Gold League table with 21 points after they beat Faisalabad by 232 runs in their fourth-round Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Cricket Championship Gold League match at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad.
Resuming at their overnight score of 277 for 8, Rawalpindi, who have never won the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, added only eight more before being bowled out. Faisalabad, chasing 337, were bowled out for 104 in 32.5 overs with no batsman scoring even 20. Sohail Tanvir got 4 for 24 and ended with a match haul of 7 for 73. Najaf Shah and Yasir Arafat got three each and both ended with six for the match.
Rawalpindi displaced Peshawar from the first position after Peshawar succumbed to a two-wicket defeat to Sialkot on January 26. Faisalabad remained at the bottom of the table with no points from their three matches.
Rawalpindi will next play Karachi Urban at the National Stadium Karachi while Faisalabad will host Peshawar in the fifth round of the tournament starting February 1.
A stubborn display by the Lahore Shalimar batsmen, coupled with poor light conditions, deprived Karachi Harbour of an outright victory as their match came to a draw on the final day at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Lahore Shalimar were set a target of 383 and were 44 for no loss at the end of day three. But only 31.4 overs of play were possible on the final day and Lahore Shalimar ended at 176 for 3.
The opening stand between Humayun Farhat and Ahmed Shehzad powered Lahore Shalimar to a 107-run start. Farhat hammered 59 off 61 balls with nine fours and a six while Shehzad made 42 off 77 balls with eight fours.
Atif Maqbool got 2 for 71 with his offbreaks and Aamer Sajjad (35) was at the crease along with Arsalan Mir (11) when stumps were drawn.
Karachi Harbour managed three points having gained a lead in the first innings. This takes their overall tally to 12 after four matches placing them fourth in the seven-team points table. A win would have given them nine points which would have enhanced their total to 18 and put them on par with Peshawar at second place.
A seventh-wicket partnership of 108 between Bilal Khilji and Kamran Hussain helped Multan earn a creditable draw against Abbottabadin their Silver League match at the Multan Cricket Stadium.
Set a target of 321 Multan had made 71 for 3 at the end of day three. On the final day they batted just short of 86 overs and lost nine wickets to reach 291 at stumps.
But a draw meant that Abbottabad had to be content with only the three points for gaining a first-innings lead. Multan, meanwhile, stay at the second spot in the table with 21 points to their credit.
Kashif Naved, unbeaten overnight at 31, set the tempo for Multan's fight for survival contributing 65 off 109 balls. Then, from 142 for 6, Khilji and Hussain pulled them out of trouble. Khilji remained unbeaten on 73 batting for almost four and a half hours while Hussain hit 51 off 100 balls.
Sajid Shah, Abbottabad's right-arm fast-medium bowler, took 3 for 52 that gave him a match haul of 9 for 100. Junaid Khan chipped in with three for 51 with his left-arm medium-fast bowling. Multan, who were demoted from the Gold League last season, must win against Islamabad in the fifth round at Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad if they are to make the Silver League final against the same side.