An all-round performance helped National Bank of Pakistan seal a spot in the final of the President's Gold Cup with a 48-run victory over Khan Research Laboratories. National Bank will play State Bank of Pakistan in the final on Sunday.
Put in to bat, National Bank posted 340 for 5 building on half-centuries from Sami Aslam, Kamran Akmal and Fawad Alam. Aslam was out for 59 off 62 deliveries while Akmal scored 90 off 75 balls, and Alam contributed 68 off 62 deliveries. The first four wickets added at least fifty runs for each stand as they reached a strong 295 for 5 in the 47th over and the late thrust came through a swift, sixth-wicket partnership between Qaiser Abbas and Umar Waheed who added 45 in 20 deliveries to lift the score to 340.
KRL made a steady start to their 341-run chase with opener Imam-ul-Haq's 89 driving the innings. Imam added 105 runs for the third wicket with Saeed Anwar jnr to set a platform for the side before National Bank fought back with three quick wickets. Shoaib Ahmed's swift 53-run stand with Ali Khan helped KRL move closer to the target but once the stand was broken, National Bank's bowlers wrapped up the innings with ease. Zia-ul-Haq's 4 for 61 led the way and Raza Hasan and Mohammad Asghar chipped in with three and two wickets respectively.