Azam ton steers State Bank into final
State Bank of Pakistan made light work of a target of 214, beating Karachi Dolphins by nine wickets to enter the final of the President's Gold Cup. Opener Babar Azam made an unbeaten 142 off 120 balls - his third century of the tournament - while Abid Ali remained unbeaten on 58 to help State Bank achieve the target with 81 balls to spare. The 175-run partnership between the pair - which came at a brisk rate of 6.36 - thwarted Dolphins who had an early breakthrough with the wicket of opener Farrukh Shehzad. Azam's century, which had 22 fours, also helped him overtake Khurram Manzoor to become the leading run-scorer in the tournament.
Dolphins, having been put in, were unable to manage the same levels of solidity with only one half-century from Mohammad Hasan (65) and Mir Hamza's late cameo of 26 off 20 deliveries before they were bundled out in the 44th over. State Bank's left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar picked up 3 for 34 while Mohammad Naved and Rizwan Haider took two apiece.
The winner of the second semi-final between Khan Research Laboratories and National Bank of Pakistan will face State Bank in the final on Sunday.