Karachi Dolphins win third straight
Kamran Younis and Shoaib Malik hit brisk half-centuries to seal an eight-wicket win for the Sialkot Stallions over the Hyderabad Hawks in Lahore. Hyderabad lost two early wickets, including Naeemuddin first ball, in pursuit of 144 but Younis and Malik sealed the win with five deliveries remaining. Younis made an unbeaten 65 off 56 balls and Malik warmed up for next week's quadrangular Twenty20 tournament in Canada with 61 not out from 46 balls. Their partnership was worth 113. The Sialkot innings revolved around Rizwan Ahmed's unbeaten 57 and 36 from opener Taj Wasan. Malik took 1 for 24 earlier. Sialkot lead Group B with two wins from two games.
In a low-scoring affair in Lahore, the Karachi Dolphins beat the Abbottabad Rhinos by six wickets. Offspinner Tahir Khan (2 for 14) and medium-pacer Faraz Ahmed (3 for 15) helped keep Abbottabad to 96 for 9, and Karachi smoothed over a top-order collapse. Asfar Nawaz remained till the end on 33 from 35 balls and Shahid Afridi played a cameo of 26. Victory was achieved in the 17th over. This was Karachi's third win in a row and they lead Group A.
Another six-wicket win in Lahore, this one for the Faisalabad Wolves against the Lahore Eagles. Five of six Faisalabad bowlers used took wickets to keep Lahore to a poor 106 before wicketkeeper Mohammad Salman (41 from 42 balls) and Khurram Shehzad (32 from 22) steered the successful chase.
Keeping with the day's trend, the Islamabad Leopards also won by six wickets, handing the Multan Tigers another defeat in Lahore. Contributions from Sohaib Maqsood (41), Saeed Anwar jnr (34) and Bilal Khilji (26) took Multan to 141 for 8. It was not enough, as Umair Khan (37) and Bazid Khan (25) rallied the top order before a destructive 42 from just 18 balls by captain Ashar Zaidi completed the denouement in 17.2 overs. Zaidi hit five fours and a couple of sixes at a strike-rate of 233.3.
Sohail Ahmed, the left-arm spinner, scored a crucial 24 and took 4 for 13 to help the Lahore Lions beat the Rawalpindi Rams by 21 runs in Lahore. Lahore chose to bat but were in trouble at 74 for 5 in the 12th over, despite a solid opening stand of 43. But Kamran Akmal led the rescue act by scoring an invaluable 49, adding 40 with Waqas Ahmed, who made 22, and 42 with Sohail Ahmed to help his team post a competitive 171. An opening stand of 79 between Umar Amin and Babar Naeem had Rawalpindi on track but Ahmed's introduction put a serious brake on the scoring as he took the first four Rawalpindi wickets, leaving them at 135 for 4 in the 18th over. They could only manage 150 in the end, losing two more wickets in the process.