Rahim's allround show seals win for Islamabad
Last season's finalists Islamabad Leopards registered their second successive triumph to remain in contention for the final, as they easily defeated Abbottabad Rhinos by eight wickets at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad.
An allround performance by Afaq Rahim set the ball rolling. The Leopards opted to field first and Afaq, with his offspinners, captured four for 20 in six overs. Earlier, right-arm seamer Zohaib Ahmed took 3 for 37 in seven overs. Afaq, opening the innings, scored a solid 42 off 63 balls with four fours. Raheel Majeed, with an unbeaten 76 off a mere 67 balls with 11 fours and a six, later took Islamabad to victory. Majeed helped add 81 for the second wicket with Afaq. He also added an unbeaten 52 with Atif Ashraf.
For the Rhinos, middle-order batsman Adnan Raees excelled with a knock of 56 off 79 balls with six fours but the rest failed as the side compiled just 164 in 40 overs.
Rizwan Ahmed's 158 went in vain as Quetta Bears defeated Hyderabad Hawks by three wickets with four balls remaining at the Khan Research Laboratory Ground at Rawalpindi. Quetta attained the target of 267 in 43.2 overs in the match reduced to 44 overs a side because of poor weather.
Rizwan hit the first century of his first-class limited-overs career, his knock coming off a 140 balls with nine fours and five sixes. He dominated the scoring while staying at the crease for just three minutes short of two and a half hours. For the Bears, the opening partnership of 103 set the tone with Shoaib Khan scoring 68, that came off 91 balls with six fours and wicketkeeper Hameedullah Khan contributing 42.
Jalat Khan and Arun Lal, with identical scores of 35, took Quetta through to victory. Extras with a total of 36 were a major factor in boosting their team's total.
Quetta Bears will now play against the new table leaders Islamabad Leopards at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad on Wednesday in a third-round match. On the same day, Hyderabad Hawks will meet Multan Tigers at the KRL Stadium.
Lahore Lions returned to their winning ways, beating Multan Tigers by 18 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. In a match reduced to 39 overs a side due to bad weather, Lahore Lions were all out for 238 after being put into bat first.
The Lions made a sound start with the total having reached 186 for 3 in the 32nd over. Five wickets then fell for the addition of only ten runs. A 40-run stand for the ninth wicket lifted them to 238. Earlier, Salman Butt (45) and Taufeeq Umar (38) gave the Lions an 85-run start. The third-wicket partnership between Kashif Siddiq (40) and Rashid Riaz (34) was worth 65.
The fit-again fast bowler Shabbir Ahmed, captaining Multan, took four wickets for 35 runs in eight overs. Fellow seamers Azharullah and Kamran Hussain bagged three wickets each. Usman Tariq and Saeed Anwar Junior gave the Tigers a sound start of 72. Kamran Hussain (48) and Kashif Naved (32) then added 71 runs for the fifth wicket and were on course to victory. But their last four wickets managed only 17 runs as Multan succumbed to defeat.