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March 13, 2013
In Ghari Khuda Bakhsh, Karachi Dolphins crushed Bahawalpur Stags by ten wickets in a one-sided contest that lasted just 26.2 overs. The defeat left the Stags at the bottom of the points table.
Batting first, the Stags couldn't find any momentum in their innings. The openers put on 22 runs, which turned out to be the most productive partnership, and they kept losing wickets thereafter. There were only four other double-digit stands. They were bowled out for 91 in 20 overs, with offspinner Atif Maqbool being the chief destroyer, taking three wickets. All other bowlers, except seamer Mohammad Sami, were among the wickets.
The Dolphins openers smashed six sixes and nine fours in reply to chase down the target quickly. They eventually reached it in the seventh over. Shahzaib Hasan was unbeaten on 53 off 22 deliveries.
An unbeaten 98 off 74 deliveries from middle-order batsman Kashif Naved steered Multan Tigers to a six-wicket victory over Hyderabad Hawks in a high-scoring match at the Niaz Stadium. Despite the loss, the Hawks still topped the points table.
Chasing 315 the Tigers lost their first wicket, that of Sohaib Maqsood, on 11. But a series of productive stands helped them stay on course. Besides Kashif, Zeeshan Ashraf, Rameez Alam and Saeed Anwar jnr scored half-centuries.
Kashif had come in to bat at 163 for 3, and anchored the innings from there. He was involved in two partnerships of 89 and 63 runs, the second one unbroken, to guide his side to the target in the 48th over.
The Hawks' innings, after they were put in to bat, was built on a 149-run opening stand between Sharjeel Khan (86) and Azeem Ghumman (64), and a fourth-wicket stand of 88 runs. Rizwan Ahmed and Faisal Athar were the other chief contributors, scoring 77 and 47 respectively at more than a run a ball.
Quetta Bears' last-wicket pair added 26 runs to help them edge Sialkot Stallions by one wicket in a closely fought game in Mirpur Khas.
After having been put in to bat, Sialkot Stallions started losing wickets from the outset. Seamer Faizullah and Shahzad Tareen took six wickets between them and reduced Stallions to 85 for 8. A 58-run stand between No. 8 Ali Khan, who scored 51 off 71 deliveries, and Bilawal Bhatti repaired the damage to an extent. Ali added another 33 runs with No. 11 Bilal Asif to take them 176.
The Bears started positively in reply with a 53-run opening stand. Although they suffered a slight collapse, losing four wickets for 33 runs, they were still in control of their chase at 152 for 5. But then they lost four wickets for a single run and the advantage was lost. Their last pair of Nazar Hussain and Faizullah, however, took them to victory.
Six wickets between seamer Ikramullah Khan and legspinner Yasir Shah helped Abbottabad Falcons bowl Faisalabad Wolves out for 104, and set up an eight-wicket win in Mirpur.
The pair destroyed the top half of the Wolves' line-up, after the Falcons had put their opponents in to bat. Five of the batsmen scored in single digits, and no one scored more than 17. In reply, the Falcons raced to victory in the 15th over, led by a 46-ball 54 from opener Mir Azam. Seamer Samiullah Khan took both the wickets to fall.
The other matches, between Lahore Lions and Islamabad Leopards in Islamabad, and Rawalpindi Rams and Karachi Zebras in Rawalpindi, were washed out.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?