The Karachi Dolphins maintained their unbeaten record and cruised into the final of the RBS Twenty-20 Cup with a nine-wicket drubbing of the Islamabad Leopards in Lahore. Karachi bowled Islamabad out for a paltry 68 and knocked off the runs in 10.4 overs.
Islamabad's innings, after they chose to bat, never got off the blocks. Sohail Khan, today announced in Pakistan's Twenty20 side for a quadrangular tournament in Canada, snubbed out opener Raheel Majeed and Bazid Khan for ducks. Malik Aftab, coming in at first change, took 3 for 17 soon after and Islamabad were floored. Ashar Zaidi, the captain, stuck around 20 balls to top-score with 14 before Tahir Khan too two wickets in his only over. It was a disappointing effort, to say the least.
A 48-run opening partnership between Khurram Manzoor (28 not out) and Khalid Latif (24), also rewarded with a national call-up today, eased Karachi to victory.
In the other semi-final at the Gaddafi Stadium, Sialkot Stallions sneaked home by six runs against Lahore Lions, thanks to Kamran Younis' all-round effort. Younis top scored with 36 and later bowled economically to finish with two wickets as Lahore failed to chase 118.
Sialkot, after choosing to bat, lost wickets at regular intervals and Younis, who opened the innings, hung around till the 17th over to make 36. The duo of Waqas Ahmed and Sohail Ahmed took five wickets between them and kept a tight leash on the batsmen. Abdur Rehman and Mansoor Amjad pushed the score to 117, still below par by Twenty20 standards.
Lahore, in reply, were in trouble early at 10 for 2. Salman Butt kept them in the hunt with 32 but the wheels came off in the 15th over as Lahore were reeling at 58 for 5. A late assault by Waqas gave Lahore hopes of pulling off an unlikely win but he lacked support. Younis finished with 2 for 16 with his left-arm spin to pick up the Man-of-the-Match award. Sialkot will now meet Karachi Dolphins in the final at the same venue on Wednesday.