All-round National Bank crush ZTBL

A round-up of the Gold Cup matches on January 23, 2015

Group I

A century from Sami Aslam, followed by a four-wicket haul from Mohammad Asghar paved the way for National Bank of Pakistan's 234-run mauling of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited in Karachi. After being inserted, National Bank rode on a 169-run, second-wicket stand between Aslam (120) and Kamran Akmal (94) to post 343 for 7. Aslam struck 12 fours and two sixes during his 120, while Akmal's 94 included eight fours and two sixes. ZTBL never really got going in their chase, with no batsman being able to contribute more than 20 runs. Six batsmen were dismissed for single-digit scores, as ZTBL folded for 109 inside 27 overs. Asghar collected 4 for 22, while Fawad Alam chipped in with 3 for 18.
Karachi Dolphins opener Rameez Raja's 124 was the cornerstone behind the team's 117-run victory against Rawalpindi Rams. Raja slammed 19 fours and two sixes during his 106-ball knock, and was part of a 93-run partnership for the fourth wicket, as Dolphins, having been inserted, made 327. Naved Malik (76) led Rams' chase with a half-century, but apart from a 78-run stand for the fifth wicket, the team struggled to post significant partnerships, as wickets at regular intervals kept pegging them back. Mir Hamza (3 for 38) and Adeel Malik (3 for 45) snared three scalps apiece, ensuring that Rams were bowled out for 210 inside 45 overs.
Imran Butt muscled a maiden List-A ton, helping Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited chase down 286 against Peshawar Panthers with four wickets and one delivery remaining. SNGPL lost Taufeeq Umar early in their chase, but Butt carried on to make 104. He put up two century stands - 100 runs for the second wicket with Azhar Ali (49), and 104 for the third with Ali Waqas (50). Panthers fought back with key wickets to take the game down to the last over, but Mohammad Rizwan's unbeaten 25-ball 46 sealed the win. Earlier, Panthers, after being put in, were powered by a centurion of their own, as Israrullah's 113, followed by a lively 60 from Mehran Ibrahim lifted the team to 285 for 5. Atif Jabbar was the pick of Panthers' bowlers, claiming 3 for 55.

Group II

Khurram Manzoor's century led Port Qasim Authority to a 16-run win over State Bank of Pakistan in Karachi. Manzoor made 123 from 128 balls at No. 3 after PQA were asked to bat. He revived the innings from 66 for 3 with Mohammad Salman (37). Khalid Latif biffed 56 off 45 at No. 7 while No. 8 Mohammad Sami cracked 34 off 21 as PQA posted 295 for 9.
Babar Azam responded with 104 off 107 but SBP unraveled from a strong 172 for 2. Azam and Usman Salahuddin (49) had added 96 for the third wicket but SBP lost batsmen regularly after that. Kashif Bhatti made an unbeaten 32 to reduce the margin of defeat after SBP had slipped to 245 for 9.
Khan Research Laboratories crushed Lahore Lions by 158 runs in Karachi, racking up 323 for 7 and then routing Lions for 165. Zain Abbas and Mohammad Yasin set the stage with an 85-run opening stand. Shoaib Ahmed (78) and Ali Khan (52) made half-centuries in the middle order. Nauman Ali cracked 38 off 16 to step up the scoring and Nayyer Abbas, Adnan Mehmood and Zulfiqar Jan chipped in with some big hits towards the end.
Rahat Ali and Sadaf Hussain then ripped through Lions, sharing nine wickets between them. Rahat picked up 4 for 30 while Sadaf had 5 for 29. Agha Salman (60) was the only batsman to go past 40 while Saad Nasim and Farhan Khan contributed thirties. The rest managed single digits.
Islamabad Leopards went down by one run against Karachi Zebras in Hyderabad, reaching 270 for 8 in response to 271 for 7. No. 9 Hamza Nadeem made an unbeaten 38 off 28 but could not haul his side home. Leopards' chase was set up by Imad Wasim's 89 as the captain helped his side recover from 35 for 3. No. 8 Naeem Anjum contributed 33 off 35 while Ali Mudassar's 3 for 48 was the most successful spell for Zebras.
Saud Shakeel made 79 at No. 3 after Zebras were asked to bat. Captain Owais Rehmani made 40 and was one of several batsmen who got starts but could not convert them to big scores.