Kamran Akmal's 105 steered Multan Region to 185 for 4, a total they defended by only three runs against Karachi Regional Whites.
Kamran's knock, off 57 deliveries with 12 fours and four sixes, ensured Multan were untroubled by the early loss of Imran Farhat. Kamran added swift partnerships of 64 and 67 for the second and third wickets with Sohaib Maqsood and Naved Yasin, before falling in the final over.
A string of solid top-order performances, led by Sheharyar Ghani's unbeaten 64, had ensured that Karachi Whites managed to keep a chase of 186 in control. They went into the last over needing eight to win, but Aamer Yamin conceded only four runs and took a wicket to ensure Karachi fell agonizingly short of the target.
Sialkot Region beat Rawalpindi Region by 19 runs at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium to remain in contention for the semi-finals. Sialkot climbed to second place in the standings, while Rawalpindi slipped to third. Both teams have one match to play.
Sialkot posted 176 for 4 after choosing to bat. Their captain Shoaib Malik hit four boundaries and two sixes in his 48 off 28 deliveries, while Haris Sohail made 50 off 45. Shoaib's brother Adeel Malik, who played for English county Essex this season, provided the finishing touches by making 28 off 19 balls. Yasir Arafat and Mohammad Asghar took one wicket each and were the only Rawalpindi bowlers to have any success; the other two wickets were via run-outs.
Rawalpindi began their chase cautiously and did not have much momentum. Nasir Jamshed made 28 off 16 balls but was dismissed in the seventh over, and a regular fall of wickets deprived the innings of partnerships. Umar Amin made 39 off 34 balls and Yasim Murtaza (24 off 23), and even Sohail Tanvir's late fireworks - 37 off 21 balls with three sixes - was not enough as Rawalpindi finished with 157 for 7. Bilal Asif and Hasan Ali bagged two wickets each for Sialkot.
Fakhar Zaman's maiden Twenty20 hundred helped Abbottabad Region chase down 196 against Peshawar Region, securing a six-wicket win for the side at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad.
Abbottabad, opting to bowl, reduced Peshawar to 6 for 1, but Iftikhar Ahmed stroked four fours and six sixes during a 55-ball 90 to revive the innings. Iftikhar's blitz, combined with handy knocks from Mohammad Rizwan (30 off 25 balls) and Adil Amin (33 off 18 balls) boosted the total to 195 for 4. Junaid Khan was Abbottabad's best bowler, taking 2 for 23, while Yasir Shah conceded 38 runs without a wicket in four overs.
Abbottabad, though, began the chase well with an opening stand of 46 between Zaman and Yasir Hameed. Zaman launched a total of 11 fours and three sixes, and remained unbeaten on 100 to take his side home with three deliveries to spare. Zaman was assisted by a 10-ball 18 from Younis Khan, and a 15-ball 30 from Sohail Akhtar. Fast bowlers Imran Khan and Taj Wali, and left-arm spinner Zohaib Khan all went at more than 10 an over.
Karachi Region Blues knocked Lahore Region Whites out of the tournament with a seven-wicket win in a one-sided match in Islamabad. Karachi's fourth straight win helped strengthen their chances of a semi-final spot, while Lahore Whites, filled with star players including Pakistan's ODI captain Azhar Ali, are languishing in second-last place in Group B with one win in four matches.
Asked to bat first, Lahore began solidly as openers Ahmed Shehzad and Azhar Ali shared a 52-run stand. The side, however, lost three quick wickets and were struggling at 63 for 3 before Umar Akmal's blistering knock lifted them. Umar Akmal hit four sixes and two fours in a 36-ball 52 and with the help of Saad Nasim, who scored 35 off 24, helped the side post a challenging total of 179 for 7.
Karachi wrapped up the 180-run chase with more than two overs to spare, riding on Khurram Manzoor's 44-ball 81, against an attack that included Mohammad Irfan and Wahab Riaz. Manzoor, who struck 16 fours in the innings, shared an opening stand of 94 with Shahzaib Hasan, and the strong start ensured a comfortable chase despite the loss of three quick wickets.
Opener Afaq Raheem's unbeaten 49-ball 70 guided Islamabad Region to an eight-wicket win over Faisalabad Region. Raheem had good support from Shan Masood (30 off 22 balls) and Babar Azam (38 off 37 balls) as he ensured the side chased down a target of 159 with two overs to spare. Raheem's 98-run second-wicket partnership with Babar Azam helped the side control the chase well after an opening partnership of 51 runs.
Earlier, Faisalabad's innings suffered from a lack of momentum as wickets fell in clusters near the halfway stage and towards the end of the innings. Opener Raheel Ameer (41 off 30 balls) and Khurram Shahzad (47 off 38) provided some solidity after an early wicket before Faisalabad lurched from 68 for 1 to 88 for 4. Misbah-ul-Haq tried to give the side a strong finish but three wickets in the last over by Shehzad Azam restricted them to 158 for 8. Munir-ur-Rahman and Shehzad Azam picked up two wickets apiece.
Pakistan Domestic Season
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