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February 21, 2010
Kamran Younis' strokeful 127 was the highlight at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, as Sialkot Stallions made short work of Multan Tigers' score of 282 to storm into the finals of the RBS Cup. Stallions elected to field and pegged back their opponents with two early strikes before they ran into Abdur Rauf. The Tigers' captain was in a punishing mood and went hell-for-broke during a manic 65 off 40 balls, before his side suffered a middle-order collapse. Things looked desperate at 160 for 6 before Rameez Alam took charge of the innings. His steady 70 was supported well by Kashif Naved's 33. Mohammad Ali was among the wickets, finishing with 4 for 55. Opener Younis then took over, and ensured his side was never behind the eight-ball. Majid Jahangir and Faisal Khan contributed 34 each in stands of 86 and 85 that put their side well in control. Younis fell after striking 15 fours and two sixes, but Adeel Malik and Nayyer Abbas hastened the end with a flurry of boundaries.
There were no such heroics at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad, where National Bank of Pakistan collapsed in their chase of 298, to let Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited make the finals. Naeemuddin and Misbah-ul-Haq made good use of the wicket in the morning, striking 90 and 87 respectively to power SNGPL towards a strong score.Misbah hit three sixes, but it was Naeemuddin who was the more aggressive player in the stand, making his runs at better than a run-a-ball. Khurram Shehzad then made the difference between a good score and a formidable one, smashing 70 runs in 53 balls in the death. Sarmad Bhatti was the only bowler who was unscathed, picking figures of 2 for 38. NBP's chase never got into gear, despite Kamran Akmal's quickfire 42. After Samiullah Khan's initial strikes pegged them back, Imran Ali ran through the tail to finish with 4 for 26 and ensure a very early finish - the innings folded for 116 in the 30th over.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the day from the fifth ODI in Ranchi
Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough