Last season's joint winners Lahore Lions enhanced their position to qualify for the final of the 2006-07 ABN-AMRO Cup Silver League Championship, when they defeated Abbottabad Rhinos by the overwhelming margin of 121 runs in their third-round match at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Abbottabad won the toss and asked Lahore to bat first. At 99 for 4 in the 21st over, the home team looked in trouble. Then came a 92-run partnership for the fifth wicket that lifted their spirits.
The in-form Adnan Raza and wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, back from the recent tour of South Africa and among the reserves for the World Cup, contributed half-centuries. Adnan took 75 balls to score 57 runs that included four boundaries. Zulqarnain's 56 came off 70 balls with two fours. The lower-order batsmen kept the runs rolling, Asif Raza hitting 28 off 15 deliveries with a four and three sixes.
Earlier, Kashif Siddiq had hammered a 30-ball 39 with eight fours in a 73-run stand with Taufeeq Umar (29) for the second wicket. Captain Salman Butt perished off his third ball after having scored just two.
Lahore's left-arm fast bowler Wahab Riaz had impeccable figures of 10-5-9-3 as the Rhinos lost their eighth wicket with only 84 runs on the board in the 35th over. Asif Khan scored 42 off 70 balls with six fours and Mohammad Siddiq an unbeaten 40 off 53 balls with six fours. They added 68-runs for the ninth wicket.
The other two matches of the day, between table leaders Islamabad Leopards and Quetta Bears at Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad and between Hyderabad Hawks and Multan Tigers at the Khan Research Laboratories Stadium in Rawalpindi, were washed out without a single ball being bowled.
All four teams had to share points, being content with two each. This kept Islamabad on top with 10 points while Lahore Lions took over second place from Hyderabad Hawks with eight points from three matches.