Innings win for Karachi Blues, Lahore Shalimar
A first-innings six-wicket haul by Azam Hussain followed by an all-round team effort helped Karachi Blues demolish Islamabad by an innings and 33 runs at the Diamond Club Ground, Islamabad. Islamabad ended their league stage on 18 points and although they have qualified for the super-eight along with Karachi Blues, their final position in the table will depend on the result of other group matches.
Islamabad, after being put in to bat, had collapsed to 73 for 7, but recovered to finish on 197 in their first innings. Hussain, with his left-arm spin, picked up the 11th five-wicket haul of his career. The Blues responded with 345 in their first innings, with Khurram Manzoor' 79 being the highest score. Three other batsmen scored half-centuries in the innings to give the Blues a 148-run lead. Islamabad's batting collapsed a second time in the match, with their innings lasting 42.2 overs, and the team failed to clear the deficit. Akbar-ur-Rehman was the most successful bowler for the Blues, picking up three wickets for 63 runs.
Lahore Shalimar collected nine points for their innings win against Hyderabad at the Gaddafi Stadium and went to the top of Group II. Second-placed Rawalpindi are just three points behind with the result of their match pending. Shalimar chose to field and their bowlers justified the decision by bowling out Hyderabad in the 44th over for 103. Aizaz Cheema was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets.
Shalimar's response was led by an unbeaten century by Usman Salahuddin who helped the team take a 243-run first-innings lead. Fast bowler Rehan Riaz took five wickets in the innings. But the lead turned out to be enough for Shalimar's bowlers as they dismissed Hyderabad for 218 in the second innings. Wahab Riaz, who had three wickets in the first innings, picked up four in the second. Hyderabad, who ended the league stage on 18 points, have also qualified for super-eight stage.
Centuries from Sohaib Maqsood and Naved Yasin gave Multan three points against Sialkot at the Multan Cricket Stadium, but Multan couldn't convert it to victory, which would have given them a Super-Eights spot. After being put in to bat, Sialkot lost wickets regularly - spinner Zulfiqar Babar took seven wickets - and no one besides Majid Jahangir, who scored a century, provided any resistance. Babar's bowling was backed up by a commanding batting performance, led by a 150-run stand between Maqsood and Yasin. Ultimately, though, Sialkot's No. 3 and 4 consumed time on the final day to force a draw.
After bowling their opponents out for 189, Multan lost two early wickets to be reduced to 33 for 2. However, the next three batsmen in the line-up - Saeed Anwar, Maqsood and Yasin - rescued them, and Multan were strong at 289 for 4. No. 7 Maqbool Ahmed scored an unbeaten half-century to help his team cross 400. But time prevented them to get more than three points out of the game, and in the final standing, they were three points behind their opponents, at the fifth spot.
Spinner Atif Maqbool and seamer Adeel Malik took nine wickets between them to help Karachi Whites cement their spot in the Super Eights, as they drew their match against Faisalabad at the Mirpur Cricket Stadium. However, they were bowled out for 207 in their second dig as medium-fast bowler Samiullah Khan took six wickets, and Faisalabad needed 357 runs to win the contest. At 213 for 6 on the final day, with Faislabad having no chances of qualifying for the next stage, both sides agreed to a draw.
After choosing to field, Faisalabad were pegged back right from the outset, as the openers put on 103 runs. The Whites' dominant innings was based on knocks of 90 and 83 from Daniyal Ahsan and Khalid Latif. The last six wickets fell for 44 runs, as seamer Asad Ali took seven wickets, to leave them three short of 300. In reply, Zeeshan Butt scored an unbeaten half-century, but didn't find valuable support from any other batsman, and Faisalabad were bowled out for 148. Although the Whites were dismissed for 207 in their second dig, rescued by Khald Latif's century, Faisalabad still faced a daunting task of chasing 357. Their batsmen put up a decent performance, but the match was drawn on the final day.
In Lahore, Imran Farhat's triple-century in the first innings led Lahore Ravi to three points in a drawn match against Peshawar. Farhat struck 50 fours in his knock of 308, off 429 deliveries, as Ravi declared their innings at 512 for 6 on the second day. Their spinners Adnan Rasool and Jahangir Mirza shared seven wickets between them to bowl Peshawar out for 209. However, the match was drawn when Peshawar reached 59 for 3 off 37 overs, on the final day. Peshawar finished the league stage at the bottom of the points table, and Ravi took the third spot.
Choosing to field, they were dominated by Ravi from the outset as Farhat built a huge total. In reply, they were in trouble at 42 for 3, and a half-century from Naved Khan and a knock of 40 from Mohammad Rizwan took them past 200, but they couldn't avoid the follow-on. But having secured three points, and with less time, Ravi couldn't push for victory.
Rawalpindi secured their spot behind Lahore Shalimar at the top of the points table by taking three points off their drawn contest against Bahawalpur. Umar Amin's century, and half-centuries from Umar Amin and Hammad Azam took them to a commanding total of 404 for 7. Although Bahawalpur's captain and opener Usman Tariq also scored a century, they fell 88 short of their opponents' total, thereby conceding three points. Eventually, both sides agreed to draw the game.
Bahawalpur finished the league stage positioned second from bottom in Group II.