Baluchistan secured their place in the Pentangular Cup final with a sensational two-wicket victory over Federal Areas at Islamabad. Such a prospect had looked dead in the water on the second morning of the contest, when Sohail Tanvir bundled them out for 57 in their first innings, but led by a stirring century from Saeed Anwar jnr, they managed almost seven times that tally second-time around, as they successfully hunted down a stiff target of 393.
Saeed resumed his innings on 36 not out, and set the platform for victory by adding 121 for the fourth wicket with Saeed Bin Nasir. Together they added exactly 100 to the overnight total of 147 for 3 before Nasir was bowled by Iftikhar Anjum for 58. Bilal Khilji then kept up the pressure with a composed 35 to bring the target down to double figures, before a late-innings wobble gave Federal Areas hope of redressing the balance of power.
Tanvir, following on from career-best figures of 7 for 21 in the first innings, could not replicate the same hostility, but he still completed his ten-wicket haul by dismissing the keeper, Gulraiz Sadaf, for 9, and at 366 for 7, the match was there for the taking. However, Baluchistan's No. 9, Kamran Hussain, biffed them back into the ascendancy with three fours in a 19-ball 20, before the captain, Abdur Rauf, and Azharullah knocked off the remaining three runs for victory.
North West Frontier Province took just 14.3 overs on the final morning in Lahore to knock off the 67 runs they required to beat Punjab and underline their status as favourites for the final against Baluchistan. Rafatullah Mohmand steered them home with 75 not out from 111 balls, including nine fours, with Younis Khan alongside him at the finish, on 24 from 32 balls.
The only man to fall in their pursuit of 172 was Aftab Alam, who failed to add to his overnight 9 before he was caught by Mohammad Ayub off the bowling of Mohammad Khalil.