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January 3, 2011
Karachi Blues completed a comprehensive win against Faisalabad at the National Stadium in Karachi. They had ended the third day in a dominant position, taking seven Faisalabad wickets for a lead that wasn't much. Faisalabad did put up a bit of resistance on the fourth day, with Ahmed Hayat making 39, but folded for 246 as Tabish Khan finished with a four-for. Set a target of 175 on the final day, Karachi went about their business in positive fashion and secured victory in the 37th over. Rameez Raja starred with an unbeaten century, off just 79 balls, while opener Asad Baig supported him solidly with 51 not out. Karachi, after playing 10 games, are left with 27 points while Faisalabad are second from bottom at 15 in 11 games.
Multan had lost ten straight games this tournament but managed to avoid humiliation in their 11th, against Islamabad at the Multan Cricket Stadium. In fact, they were in a good position to gain a first-innings lead having reduced Islamabad to 189 for 6 in their response to 244. However, the Islamabad lower order stepped up on the fourth day, with Imad Wasim remaining unbeaten on 65, and Kamran and Fakhar Hussain chipping in with 30s to take the team into the lead and stretch the score to 262 for 7 declared.
Habib Bank Limited will play in the final of the QEA Trophy after topping the table at the end of the 11th round. Their match against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore had just 19 overs of play, with the final day being washed out without a ball being bowled.
Rawalpindi averted the threat of conceding a first-innings lead against Sialkot on the rain-affected fourth day as Adnan Mufti (50*) and Muzammil Nizam (44*) rescued them from a precarious 104 for 7 in response to 209 at the Jinnah Stadium. Both scored at a fluent pace to take the team to 190 for 7, though were prevented from gaining a first-innings lead that would have helped them seal a place in the final of the competition. The fourth day of the contest between Water and Power Development Authority and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad was washed out without a ball being bowled.
The contest between National Bank of Pakistan and Pakistan International Airlines was washed out without a ball being bowled for the fourth straight day.
As it stands, HBL have qualified for the final but there are three other teams in the running to meet them there. WAPDA and Rawalpindi are tied on 54 points, with the latter having a higher net run-rate. PIA are yet to take on Karachi Blues, and should they win that match with maximum points they will reach the final. PIA, if they win by an innings, will make it through. Should they win without one, they will be left tied with Rawalpindi and WAPDA on 54 points, and the finalist will be decided based on net run-rates.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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