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March 27, 2013
Lahore Lions (Hafeez 102; Shoaib Maqsood 1-22) beat Multan Tigers (Rameez Alam 45, Zia-ul-Haq 2-20) by 47 runs
Captain Mohammad Hafeez led from the front to hit his second Twenty hundred that helped Lahore Lions humble Multan Tigers by 47 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium. With a daunting total in sight, Tigers never looked in control during their chase. They lost their captain Shoaib Maqsood in the first over, caught brilliantly by Aizaz Cheema after he had fumbled it on the first go. Tigers started stuttering early as their top three batsmen departed with only 24 runs on the board.
Rameez Alam (45) and Saeed Anwar jnr (11) resisted for a while with a 51-run stand for the fourth wicket, but both got bogged down against the spinners. Despite some late fireworks by Kashif Naved, Tigers kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and were bowled out in the 20th over for 127.
Lions, after choosing to bat, lost opener Ahmed Shahzad (2) in the first over as he flicked Rahat Ali straight to Zulfiqar Babar at midwicket. Thereafter, Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed dominated Tigers and added 66 runs for the second wicket before Jamshed was trapped lbw for 26. Akmal brothers, Umar (4) and Kamran (0), were out of successive deliverers - Umar edged one from Rizwan Haider to the keeper, while a mix-up for a single with Hafeez resulted in Kamran's wicket.
Hafeez, however, continued to consolidate. He was dropped three times, twice by the wicketkeeper. Along with Ali Azmat (29), he added 83 for the fifth wicket to take Lions to a formidable total of 175. He reached 102 off 64 balls with 18 boundaries, including two sixes off the last two balls of the innings.
Sialkot Stallions 141 for 5 (Malik 68, Hasan 3-35) beat Abbottabad Falcons 135 for 9 (Hameed 43) by 5 wickets
Shoaib Malik led Sialkot Stallions to a five-wicket victory over Abbottabad Falcons in Gaddafi Stadium. Falcons batted first, but were reduced to 39 for 3 through some incisive bowling from Raza Hasan. Yasir Hameed (43) and Hammad Ali (30) were the only meaningful contributions, as the rest of the batting folded quickly, to leave them 135 for 9 at the end of their 20 overs. Hasan had best figures of 3 for 35.
Shakeel Ansar was dismissed for a duck, and Faisal Naved and Shahid Yousuf didn't last long either as Stallions were at a precarious 18 for 3. An 89-run stand between Shoaib Malik and Adeel Malik categorically took the game away from Falcons. Shoaib Malik top-scored with 68, and Adeel Malik with 36. The chase was finished off by Ali Khan and Mansoor Amjad, as Stallions won with four balls to spare. Falcons have lost two straight now, after losing to Multan Tigers yesterday.
Rawalpindi Rams 157 (Amin 36, Anwar Ali 4-32) beat Karachi Dolphins 149 (Sami 38, Arafat 4-28) by eight runs
Yasir Arafat's four-wicket haul helped Rawalpindi Rams to overwhelm powerful Twenty20 side Karachi Dolphins by eight runs in the final match of the day in Lahore. Dolphins lost their way chasing 158, but bounced back through No.9 batsman Mohammad Sami who smacked a breathtaking 38 off 18 balls. But Rams held their nerves to complete a dramatic victory.
Dolphins lost their top order to Arafat earlier who accounted for Khalid Latif (0), Shahzaib Hasan (11) and Asad Shafiq (0) in his first spell of two overs. Fawad Alam (29) along with Sarfaraz Ahmed (26) resisted the tidy bowling in a 40-run stand, but both were out in quick succession. Sami then launched a late attack that included three sixes to revive hopes, but Arafat returned to pick his wicket. Dolphins eventually were bowled out for 149, eight runs short.
Rams opted to bat with openers Awais Zia (34) and Naved Malik (12) off to a positive start. But they lost seven wickets for 16 runs towards the end to finish with 157. Anwar Ali was the most successful bowler with four wickets.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?