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Ali Khan powers Stallions to second win

Group A

Ali Khan firmed up Sialkot Stallions' position at the top of Group A. His belligerent 19-ball 48 revived a flagging chase and to beat Larkana Bulls by three wickets. A target of 150 was given extra teeth when legspinner Zahid Mahmud ran rampant over the middle order. His 5 for 16 forced Stallions from a solid 90 for 2 to 110 for 7 in the space of four overs. But Ali Khan, coming in at No. 6, biffed three fours and a six in the 18th over and sealed the win with a four in the final one. Bulls' batting needed the lower order to carry most of their threat. They were struggling at 30 for 4 in the fifth over before Zafar Ali (59 off 44) and Ghulam Yasim (39 off 34) added 67 for the sixth wicket to lift their total.

Karachi Dolphins went top of the group with a bonus-point 86-run demolition of Quetta Bears. Dolphins surged to 196 for 6 after choosing to bat, and Bears' chase never got going as they crawled to 110 for 5. Asad Shafiq made another half-century after the Dolphins openers and Faisal Iqbal had gone cheaply. Shafiq hit 78 off 50 and put on 113 in 11.5 overs with Fawad Alam, who contributed 58 off 39. Shahid Afridi arrived in the 18th over and blitzed an unbeaten 32 off 11 with six boundaries.

Bears were reduced to 20 for 3 after four overs by Mohammad Sami and Anwar Ali and could never build any momentum. Taimur Khan made an unbeaten 53, but he consumed 61 balls and Umar Qasim's steady 31 was the only other score of note. Only Anwar went for more than seven an over as the Dolphins attack provided little release.

Group B

In the chase against Karachi Zebras yesterday, FATA Cheetas' Asif Afridi was run out in the final over. Then, it didn't cost his team. Against Multan Tigers though, it did. With nine needed off four balls in pursuit of 149, Afridi, having jogged to 31 off 22, was caught short of the crease. The well-set opener Khushdil Shah - who was well past the half-century mark - and No. 6 Zeeshan Khan could only manage singles and a two off the final three balls. Afridi had also played a part with the ball, claiming 2 for 20 in his four overs of left-arm pace. For Multan Tigers, it was Pakistan batsman Sohaib Maqsood who did most of the damage, slamming 78 off 54 after the team had stuttered early on to lift them to 148 for 5. In lifting the team close to 150, he received good support from wicketkeeper Gulraiz Sadaf in a fifth-wicket partnership of 84 from eight overs. That effort eventually turned out to be just about enough for the side.