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February 7, 2007
Silver League final
Buoyed by Bhilal Khilji's 132, Multan made full use of the absence of Rao Iftikhar and allrounder Azhar Mahmood from the Islamabad line-up, as they posted an impressive 326 for 4 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Both Iftikhar and Azhar are with the Pakistan squad in South Africa, thus denting Islamabad's chances to get promoted to next season's Gold League.
Khilji's knock came off 218 balls with 22 fours and a six. Opener Usman Tariq chipped in with 56. Bilal was joined by Kashif Naved in a 134-run stand for the fourth wicket. Naved's 72 came off 109 balls with 11 boundaries.
Fawad Alam hammered his second century of the tounament, as Karachi Harbour ran up an impressive total of 323 for 6 against Faisalabad at the National Stadium in Karachi. The 21-year-old, who was tipped earlier in the season to at least make Pakistan's preliminary World Cup squad but eventually didn't, came in at number five with his team at 140-3 and proceeded to score his third first-class hundred.
Fawad faced 149 deliveries to make 103, that included 15 boundaries. He dominated the 132-run fifth-wicket partnership with Fahad Iqbal. Karachi Harbour, led by Danish Kaneria, won the toss and decided to go in first. Khalid Latif and Wajihuddin got off to a good start, adding 53. Wajihuddin scored a resolute 67 off 121 balls with nine fours and a six and his second-wicket stand with Akbar Rehman was worth 85. Seamer Asad Ali bowled usefully for Faisalabad with figures of 3 for 97 from 27 overs, although he conceded 13 no-balls and a wide. Ahmed Hayat picked up 2 for 57 in 16 overs.
Sialkot took a step closer to toppling Karachi Urban from the top of the Gold League table, as they dismissed their opponents for just 164 at the Jinnah Stadium on Wednesday. By the close of play, the Sialkot openers batted out the remaining overs, adding 53.
Seamer Kashif Daud, playing his first match for Sialkot after having captured 21 wickets for Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) in the Patron's Trophy earlier in the season, picked up five wickets for 54 runs in 11.5 overs. Only wicketkeeper Amin-ur-Rehman reached 30 for the visitors. Four others got good starts but couldn't go beyond that. Sialkot's in-form paceman Tahir Mughal struck three times before Daud took over.
Mohammad Wasim and Babar Naeem scored half-centuries as Rawalpindi compiled 330 in the opening day against Lahore Shalimar at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground . At stumps, the hosts lost opener Ashfaq Ahmed for a third-ball duck, finishing at 15 for 1.
After being put in to bat, Rawalpindi lost two early wickets before Naeem smacked 63 runs off just 77 balls with five fours and five sixes. Wasim was joined by Awais Zia in a 69-run sixth-wicket stand. Wasim's 75 came off 119 balls with 10 boundaries. Four more wickets then fell for an addition of 59 runs to make it 264 for 9. Yasim Murtaza and Najaf Shah proceeded to add 66 in a rollicking last-wicket partnership that took the score to 330 in less than an hour.
Yasim made 42 off 54 balls with five fours and a six while Najaf remained unbeaten with 31. Mohammad Khalil returned figures of 3 for 57 in 19 overs.
© The News
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