Lahore Lions, Lahore Eagles and Rawalpindi notch up wins
Lahore Lions cruised to victory against Peshawar Panthers at the National Stadium, winning by seven wickets after a strong bowling performance. Fast bowlers Aizaz Cheema and Imran Ali were the stars, taking four wickets each to limit Peshawar to 117. Peshawar had been tottering at 49 for 5 at one stage, but Sajjad Ahmed chipped in with 30 and Mohammad Idrees contributed 30 to take them past 100 and a score of some respectability. However, Lahore opener Nasir Jamshed raced away in the reply and helped add 58 for the opening wicket in almost no time. Salman Butt then guided his team with an unbeaten 47 to seal victory with more than seven openers to spare.
Rawalpindi Rams began their tournament on a winning note, beating Karachi Zebras by 11 runs at the National Stadium in Karachi. Tahir Mughal top scored with 58, striking five fours and three sixes amid support from Umar Amin (37) to take Rawalpindi to 174. Offspinner Haaris Ayaz bagged three for 20, but, despite an encouraging response from the top order, Karachi fell short, finishing on 163 for 6. Opener Khurram Manzoor stroked 53 and was assisted by Babar Rahman (26) and Faisal Iqbal (22) but two-wicket bursts from Raza Hasan and Hammad Azam kept Karachi in check and prevented them from scaling a competitive score.
Hyderabad Hawks slipped to their second consecutive defeat in the RBS Twenty20 Cup, losing to Lahore Eagles by 46 runs at the National Stadium in Karachi. Opener Imran Farhat, who is a part-time legspinner at the international level, was the star, taking five wickets to seal a comprehensive victory for Lahore. Lal Kumar was Hyderabad's top scorer with 38, but in a chase of 159, there was little support from the others. The trouble began early with the first three wickets falling for 28, and despite a 54-run stand for the fourth wicket between Kumar and Aqeel Anjum (25), Farhat's leg-spin proved too much to handle. Lahore's batting effort had been boosted by a late surge from Jahangir Mirza, who made 38 in 24, and useful contributions from the top and middle orders, including a 29-ball 32 from Aamer Sajjad.