Lahore Blues, Karachi Whites cruise to 19-run wins
Islamabad and FATA were downed by exactly the same margin in two games played on Monday for the National T20 Cup
Karachi Whites and Lahore Blues prevailed in the day's two games in the National T20 Cup. In stark contrast to much of this tournament, both contests were heavily one sided, with the chasing side having been batted out of the match long before it was over.
A quickfire 45 from Asad Shafiq set up Karachi's first innings total against Islamabad, and at the break the target didn't look particularly insurmountable. Karachi had managed 148 in the face of decent bowling from Islamabad, Mohammad Irfan leading the attack with figures of 3 for 25.
But Islamabad could never really get their chase off the ground, with the top four all getting past 20 but none able to take control of the chase. That was partially down to Karachi's three main bowlers: Zulfiqar Babar, Tabish Khan and Rumman Raees, who conceding just 58 runs in their combined 12 overs, each taking a wicket. Eventually, the asking rate continued to rise, and Islamabad finished their innings 19 runs short.
A beleaguered FATA slumped to another defeat by precisely the same margin, but they were up against a far more daunting target. Lahore Blues mustered 177, thanks largely to a sensational knock by impressive young batsman Hussain Talat, who continues to make a strong selection for the international side. He smashed an unbeaten 68 off 46, and with all bar one batsman reaching double figures, the final total looked very much a team effort. FATA were never in the chase, despite number six batsman Sohail Akhtar going one better on Talat's knock, ending unbeaten on 74 from 56. But those heroics came after half his side had been shot out for 30, and the late order fireworks he and the lower order batsman could provide merely prevented a defeat from becoming a pummelling. With just one win in five, they are now rock bottom in the table.