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National Bank, SNGPL open with wins

Group I

Fifties from Sami Aslam, Kamran Akmal and Fawad Alam sent National Bank of Pakistan on their way to a 129-run victory against Rawalpindi Rams in Karachi. National Bank, having been inserted, rode on a 115-run stand between Aslam and Akmal to make 288. Aslam slammed seven fours and a six during his 65-ball 76, while Akmal's 84 featured eight fours and two sixes. Alam then smashed 57 off 55 balls to leave the team poised for a strong total, but a late collapse meant that National Bank lost their last six wickets for just 18 runs. Munir Ansari was the pick of Rams' bowlers, collecting 4 for 57.

Rams never really got going in the chase as their progress was hampered by wickets at regular intervals. Usman Saeed top-scored with an unbeaten 51 and Talha Qureshi chipped in with 42, but the team failed to produce a meaningful partnership and were duly bundled out for 159 in 44 overs. Zia-ul-Haq took 3 for 29, while Raza Hasan, Mohammad Nawaz and Alam snared two scalps apiece.

Imran Butt's 98 ensured Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited chased down 235 with two overs and four wickets to spare against Karachi Dolphins at the National Stadium. SNGPL were struggling at 64 for 4 in their chase before Butt steadied the innings by playing the lead role in a 59-run stand for the fifth wicket. Butt stroked 12 fours, but fell two runs short of a hundred as he was caught behind by the wicketkeeper Mohammad Hasan off Mir Hamza. Dolphins would've hoped to find a way back into the game, but an unbroken partnership of 71 runs between Hussain Talat (35) and Imran Khalid (47) sealed the win for SNGPL.

Khalid had earlier contributed with the ball as well, as his 4 for 40 from nine overs restricted Dolphins to 234. Dolphins had been buoyed by an 85-run association for the third wicket between Fazal Subhan (59) and Saad Ali (81), but struggled to produce a significant stand after that, as a flurry of late wickets hurt the team.

Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited were given a walkover against Peshawar Panthers at the United Bank Limited Sports Complex, as Panthers were not able to arrive in Karachi on time due to a cancelled flight.

Group II

State Bank of Pakistan's spinners, led by left-armer Kashif Bhatti, bundled Islamabad Leopards for 145 to give their side a 127-run win. Except for two run-outs towards the end of the innings, Bhatti, Babar Azam, Zafar Gohar and Zahid Mahmood bagged all the wickets, preventing Leopards from chasing down a target of 273. Bhatti finished with 3 for 29, while Gohar and Mahmood picked up two wickets each. Earlier, half-centuries from Mukhtar Ahmed (77) and Abid Ali (85) had lifted State Bank to a position of strength, after they were put in to bat, but a late collapse saw them limited to 272 in 50 overs. The side lost their last seven wickets for just 30 runs.

Karachi Zebras collapsed from 187 for 3 to 226 for 9 in a chase of 278, eventually losing their opening match against Khan Research Laboratories by 24 runs. Most of Zebras' top order got starts, with Saud Shakeel's 59 leading the way. However, the rest of the line-up failed to bat around Faraz Patel, who finished unbeaten on 43 off 45 balls. Left-arm pacer Sadaf Hussain was the most successful bowler for KRL, with 3 for 64. The KRL innings was propped up by Saeed Anwar jnr's eighth List A hundred, an unbeaten 121 that led the side to 277 for 4, after they were put in to bat. Anwar's innings came off 103 deliveries with six fours and as many sixes.

Umar Siddiq's unbeaten 100 and half-centuries from openers Waqas Saleem and Ikhlaq Butt steered Lahore Lions to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Port Qasim Authority. The openers built the platform for the 253-run chase with an 82-run stand and Siddiq consolidated further. His 75-ball innings included 11 fours. Khurram Manzoor's 80 had held the PQA innings after they were put in to bat but the side suffered due to a lack of substantial partnerships, eventually folding for 252 in the final over. Saad Nasim took 3 for 50 for Lions.