Gold Cup 2014-15 January 21, 2015

Rams crushed after collapsing to 53

ESPNcricinfo staff

Group I

Mohammad Hasan's maiden List-A hundred helped Karachi Dolphins gun down 279 against Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited in Karachi. Dolphins' chase was powered by an unbroken 140-run partnership between Hasan and Saad Ali. Hasan scored a 117-ball 131 with 16 fours, while Saad's 53 not out featured five fours and a six, as Dolphins raced home inside 42 overs. Earlier, ZTBL, opting to bat, had compiled 278 for 5. Their innings was built on a 122-run opening stand between Sharjeel Khan (67) and Yasir Hameed (63), before Shoaib Malik (66) and Abdul Razzaq (63) muscled half-centuries of their own.

A fifty from Adil Amin and a three-for from Taj Wali were the cornerstones behind Peshawar Panthers' 24-run victory against National Bank of Pakistan. Batting first, Amin stroked 51 and was part of a 76-run stand for the third wicket. It gave Panthers a solid platform, which Akbar Badshah used by smashing a 21-ball 42 to lift the team to 219 for 7. National Bank's chase was blighted by wickets right from the off, as they soon found themselves struggling at 88 for 5. Qaiser Abbas struck a quick 60 to give National Bank hope, but he was bowled by Amin, as the team lost their last five wickets for just 36 runs to fold for 195.

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited posted the biggest victory of the round, as they crushed Rawalpindi Rams by 10 wickets. Rams, opting to bat, lasted just 18.1 overs, as they were shot out for 53. Haseeb Azam, with 12, was the team's top scorer and only batsman to reach double digits, as four players fell for ducks. Atif Jabbar was the pick of an incisive bunch of bowlers, taking 3 for 13, while Asad Ali, Imran Khalid and Hussain Talat claimed two scalps each. SNGPL chased down the paltry target in 10.1 overs.

Group II

Khurram Manzoor and Mohammad Talha played starring roles in Port Qasim Authority's thumping eight-wicket win against Karachi Zebras. Opting to bowl, Talha made immediate impact as he ripped through Zebras' top order to reduce them to 36 for 4, last three of those wickets coming within five runs of each other. Saud Shakeel (57 off 101 balls) ensured it wasn't a total capitulation by forging useful partnerships with the lower order, which helped the team reach 200 for 8 in 50 overs.

Port Qasim's batsmen then rallied towards the target briskly. After an opening partnership of 41, Manzoor and Khalid Latif (59 off 74), the captain, added 74 for the second, before Manzoor and Umar Amin closed doors on Zebras by adding an unbeaten 86 to complete the chase with 13.4 overs to spare. Manzoor remained unbeaten on 83 that included 13 fours.

Khan Research Laboratories made it two wins in two matches with a comfortable victory over Islamabad Leopards. Chasing 238, KRL openers Zain Abbas and Mohammad Yasin smashed contrasting half-centuries during a 116-run opening stand and set a strong foundation. While Abbas' 85 came off 115 deliveries, Yasin's 72 took 66 balls and included 11 fours and 2 sixes. A 61-run second-wicket stand between Abbas and Saeed Anwar jnr then ensured a smooth passage and KRL overhauled the target with 5.3 overs remaining. Earlier, Sadaf Hussain had rattled Leopards' top order with three early wickets. A 106-run sixth-wicket stand between Zohaib Ahmed (89) and Sarmad Bhatti (60) propped up Leopards from a shaky 71 for 5, but it wasn't enough.

Centuries by openers Mukhtar Ahmed and Babar Azam helped State Bank of Pakistan overhaul Lahore Lions' total of 256 with plenty of time to spare. The nine-wicket win pushed State Bank to the top of the Group II table. Mukhtar was the only wicket to fall, but only after he had set the tempo with his maiden List A hundred and a dominating 213-run opening stand with Azam, who remained unbeaten on 129. Between the two, 24 fours and two sixes. Lions tried out eight bowlers but they neither fetched wickets or stemmed the flow of runs. Thirty-three balls remained when the chase ended. Lions' innings had revolved around two half-centuries - a 96-ball 67 by opener Mohammad Ikhlaq and a rapid 72, that included four sixes, by Saad Nasim. Other batsmen in the top order got starts, but failed to convert them to substantial scores. Zafar Gohar was the most successful bowler with 4 for 52.

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