Irfan bowls Lahore Shalimar to big win

A five-wicket haul by the left-arm spinner Mohammad Irfan helped Lahore Shalimar to a 222-run win over Abbottabad in Swabi. Centuries by Imran Butt and Fahad-ul-Haq helped Lahore set Abbottabad an improbable 481, but they folded up for 258 on the final day, giving Lahore their second win of the tournament.

An astonishing 16 wickets tumbled on the opening day, with Abbottabad reeling at 29 for 6 after restricting Lahore to 199. Local boy Fazl-e-Rabbi, the right-arm seamer, took 4 for 56 while the left-arm spinner Khalid Usman took 4 for 55 to bowl out Lahore within 60 overs. Aamer Sajjad was the top scorer for Lahore with 60.

The Lahore seamers decimated the Abbottabad top order, with Aizaz Cheema leading the way with 4 for 43. There was hardly any resistance from the lower order as Abbottabad folded for 104 on the second day. Zia-ul-Haq, the left-arm seamer, ran through the lower order to finish with 4 for 24.

The most decisive partnership of the game was the 236 for the second wicket between the Lahore pair of Butt and Fahad. They came together at the fall of the first wicket on 18 and strengthened Lahore's position with centuries. Butt's 124 included 17 fours, while Fahad's 121 included 16 fours. Salman Ali and Saad Nasim made unbeaten fifties before the captain Fahad declared.

Abbottabad performed marginally better in the second innings but at the end of the third day they were struggling at 150 or 6. Irfan rattled Abbottabad with four top-order wickets. Hammad Ali helped himself to an unbeaten fifty at No.9, before Irfan rounded off the match with his fifth wicket.