WAPDA, Hyderabad, Faisalabad move to next round
A hundred from Faisal Athar and an unbeaten 44-ball 63 from Shoaib Laghari confirmed a knockout berth for Hyderabad Hawks with a last-over four-wicket win against Quetta Bears. Hyderabad chased down 311 with three balls to spare for their third successive win and finished on top of Group I.
The chase was led initially by Zeeshan Gul's 96 after they were reeling at 26 for 3. Gul and Athar put on 170 runs, and Athar and Laghari combined to score 101 runs together. Athar's career-best 129 featured 13 fours and a six and no other batsman apart from Gul, Athar and Laghari scored in double digits.
Earlier, Quetta Bears were asked to bat and several batsmen got starts but only three scored fifties. Opener Zubair Khan scored a run-a-ball 54 and middle-order batsmen Mirwais Tareen and Rameez Raja scored 51 and 53 respectively. Late contributions from their lower order propelled them to 309 for 9 as offspinner Nasir Awais finished with 4 for 57.
Pakistan International Airlines' six-wicket win over United Bank Limited was not enough to take them to the next round as they finished second with two wins from three matches. After dismissing United Bank for 180, PIA chased down the target with fifties from Sheharyar Ghani (63) and Fahad Iqbal (51*).
United Bank could not capitalise on their decision, being reduced to 41 for 3 and 125 for 6 later on. Only No. 4 Saeed Bin Nasir could resist with a 81-ball 71 as left-arm spinner Rafaiy Safdar took 5 for 38, his maiden five-for in List A matches, which helped bowl out United Bank in 41.4 overs. In reply, solid contributions from Ghani, Kamran Sajid (43) and Fahad meant PIA hardly stuttered in their chase to wrap up the win in under 30 overs.
A second List A century from Iftikhar Ahmed built on a six-wicket haul from Zulfiqar Babar as Water and Power Development Authority cruised to a six-wicket win and remained unbeaten in the opening round of the President's Silver Cup One Day tournament. Habib Bank Limited, despite the loss, progress to the next round along with WAPDA.
Put in to bat, Habib Bank got off to a good start with a 93-run opening stand, Imran Farhat made a rapid 70 off 68 balls, which included six fours and two sixes. However, Habib Bank's middle and lower orders collapsed to Babar's left-arm spin as he picked up 6 for 57. It was Asad Shafiq's unbeaten 81 off 84 that helped Habib Bank reach 268.
The WAPDA batsmen scored at a brisk rate and reached the target with seven balls to spare. Iftikhar remained unbeaten on 118 off 135 balls, with 10 fours and four sixes while Rafatullah Mohamand's 55 from 61 and Mohammad Fayyaz 49 off 56 were other notable contributions.
Imranullah Aslam cracked a rapid fifty as Bahawalpur Stags held on for a one-wicket victory over Sialkot Stallions. The victory moved them to four points, joined with Habib Bank Limited and Abbottabad Falcons. but Bahwalpur were knocked out as Habib Bank had a better net run rate.
In pursuit of 218, Bahawalpur stumbled to 149 for 6 as offspinner Bilal Asif tripped up the middle-order with career-best figures of 4 for 40. Imranullah then took charge with 60 off 49 deliveries and was key in a last-wicket partnership worth 43 runs as Bahawalpur wrapped up the chase with 25 balls to spare.
Sialkot ended up winless and would rue their top-order's failure in the morning. Faisal Khan launched a middle-order revival, making 71 off 86 balls and despite some late impetus from Bilal Asif and Faisal Rasheed Siakot could only reach 217. Afraseem Hussain collected three wickets while Ali Ahmed accounted for two.
Faisalabad Wolves secured a comfortable 60-run win and progressed into the next round through allrounder Jahandad Khan's maiden five-for and a collective batting performance. Lahore Eagles, though, exit from the tournament with a solitary win in four matches.
Invited to bat, Hamza Zaheer was removed by Ahmed Bashir for 1. However, a 46-run partnership for the second wicket between Iftikhar Ahmed and Ali Shan, and four twenty-plus scores from Nos. 7 to 10 steered Faisalabad to 256. Bashir was the most successful bowler with figures of 3 for 36.
In reply, Lahore's only saving grace was a 77-run association for the second wicket between Tayyab Tahir and Mohammad Waheed as they sunk to 196 all out in 45 overs. Waheed progressed to his third List-A fifty but it had very little impact against Jahanand's 5 for 46.
Pakistan Television missed out on moving to the next round despite their five-wicket win against Sui Southern Gas Corporation, as their net run rate of 0.160 was marginally behind Faisalabad Wolves' 0.466, with both teams on six points. PTV tried hard to qualify by dismissing SSGC for 216 and then chasing it down in 42 overs, but it wasn't enough.
SSGC were asked to bat and struggled throughout their innings after Mohammad Sami struck early. No. 3 Awais Zia struck a hundred, his fourth in List A, which led them to a respectable score despite a lower-order collapse of losing six wickets for 18 runs. Sami finished with 5 for 35, not letting any other batsman score 20.
PTV's openers could not score any runs but the trio of Hasan Raza (78), Nawaz Ahmed (69) and Zeeshan Mushtaq (41) counterattacked to deliver a comfortable win.