Multan Tigers 143 for 5 (Ashraf 58*, Maqsood 45, Shah 3-29) beat Abbottabad Falcons 141 for 8 (Raees 34, Babar 3-20, Maqsood 3-23) by 5 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball-details
An all-round performance from Sohaib Maqsood in the form of 45 off 28 balls and three crucial wickets led Multan Tigers to a five-wicket win against Abbottabad Falcons in Lahore.
Falcons were given a steady start with a 51-run opening stand between Haroon (29) and Sajjad Ali (25). But with the dismissal of both of them, wickets started to totter and Falcons were reeling at 117 for 8, losing eight wickets for 66 runs. Adnan Raees (34 off 21) in the middle order and captain Junaid Khan (17 off 7) at No. 11 showed some resistance to take the Falcons to a fighting total of 141 after they scored 22 runs in their last over.
In reply, Tigers responded strongly with a 77-run opening stand between Zeeshan Ashraf and Maqsood. Three quick wickets and a run-out by Yasir Shah slowed the proceedings for a while as the Tigers were now 120 for 5. While Gulraiz Sadaf was out for a golden duck, Kashif Naved was snapped by Rameez Ahmed diving to his left at gully.
It was Ashraf who held his nerves to take his side home with Rizwan Haider who hit the winning runs in style with a boundary over midwicket to finish the chase with 14 balls to spare.
Lahore Lions beat the Sialkot Stallions by restricting them to 118 for 8, and winning the match by 44 runs in Lahore. Opting to bat first, Lions were led by opener Nasir Jamshed who carried his bat with 71 off 56, which included seven fours and a six. He did not get much support from the top order as three wickets fell in the first ten overs. But Karman Akmal and Jamshed put on 69 runs for the fourth wicket to take their run-rate to over seven, and their score beyond 100. Once Akmal departed, Ali Azmat's cameo of 21 off 11 added impetus to their innings, with Jamshed's fifty helping them to a respectable score.
Sialkot captain Shoaib Malik picked up two wickets, but gave away 35 runs, lacking practice because he he had not bowled during the one-dayers in South Africa. Raza Hasan, playing a match after over three months, gave only 18 runs in his four overs.
Stallions were never in the race, losing wickets at regular intervals, as only one player passed 20. The opening partnership was broken in the third over by Aizaz Cheema, with Zia-ul-Haq striking in the next over. No. 4 Shahid Yousuf counter-attacked with a 11-ball 17 before he was caught behind off Wahab Riaz. The opener Shakeel Ansar was run out on the very next ball. Malik couldn't survive for more than five balls, and offspinner Adnan Rasool took over from there, picking up three wickets in his four overs for 17 runs, which almost sealed the win for Lions. No. 9 batsman Bilawal Bhatti scored an unbeaten 24 to take them past 100, but the target proved too steep as Stallions eventually fell short by 44 runs.
Faisalabad Wolves off to a winning start, routing Bahawalpur Stags by 63 runs in the opening match of the tournament.
Wolves, after opting to bat first, made a brisk start as opener Farrukh Shehzad began with an aggressive pull over midwicket for a first-ball boundary. A blow on his helmet while attempting a dilscoop didn't slow him down, and he went on to hit six boundaries including a six before edging Fahad Masood behind the stumps for 30 off 20 balls. Left-hand batsman Ali Waqas was stuck on 6 after five overs but he improved during a partnership of 39 off 41 balls with Asif Ali. With the help of five boundaries including two sixes, Asif struck 34 off 25 balls to propel Wolves.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who joined his team minutes before play began with wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Salman as the makeshift captain until Misbah arrived. Wolves had closed in on 100 by the 14th over before Misbah (22 off 20 balls not out) took guard. He anchored a 40-run stand for the fifth wicket with Khurram Shehzad (19 off 12 balls) to take Wolves to competitive total of 154.
Stags' chase got off to a disastrous start, with two wickets off the first two balls. A faint edge down leg handed opener Imranullah Aslam a golden duck while Kashif Saddiq slashed a wide and uppish delivery only to be caught at point.
Hammad Tariq (28) and Moinuddin (15), the top scorers for Stags, tried to stage a recovery but Wolves proved too strong. Stags kept losing wickets regularly and were never able to bring down the asking rate, crumbling to 91 for 8 in 20 overs. Shehzad, the Man of the Match, was the main destroyer, conceding only 20 runs for his four wickets.