Riaz and Qadir guide Lahore Lions to semi-finals

Twenty20 Round-up, 4th day

Cricinfo staff
Group D
Lahore Lions sealed a semi-final spot with a second successive edge-of-the-seat win , this time against the Quetta Bears. Shoaib Khan and Umar Javed, with 42 and 43 not out, had seen the Bears to a competitive 148. The Lions, needing to win to advance, found themselves in trouble as Faisal Irfan and Arun Lal reduced them to 82 for 5 by the 12th over but a 49-run sixth wicket stand between Rashid Riaz and Sulaman Qadir, son of Abdul, saw them home with five balls and three wickets to spare. They will now face Sialkot Stallions in the second semi-final on Christmas day.
Group A
An all-round display from Mohammad Hafeez led former champions Faisalabad Wolves to a thumping seven-wicket win over Abbotabad Rhinos. Hafeez first picked up three wickets with his strangling off-spin, for only 16 runs as the Rhinos crashed to an inadequate 105 for eight. Then, when quick runs were the need of the hour as the Wolves looked to sneak into the semi-finals, Hafeez walloped 33 from just 18 balls, with five fours and a six. Asif Hussain, the hero of two years ago and captain Naved Latif, scored equally swift twenties as the Wolves reached their target in under nine overs. Now their place in the semis was dependent on the antics of the Karachi Dolphins.
Group A
Mohammad Sami and Pakistan U-19 star Anwar Ali led the way as the Karachi Dolphins crushed Lahore Eagles to book the last spot in the semi-finals, ahead of Faisalabad Wolves. Sami and Anwar, touted as a future Pakistan pace prospect, took four of the top five wickets between them, including Imran Farhat and Salman Butt, as the Eagles were bundled out for 71. Thereafter, it was left in the capable hands of Shadab Kabir and Fawad Alam to ease the Dolphins to an eight-wicket win with nearly eight overs left. Alam's unbeaten 34 came after he had also taken two tail-end wickets in 11 balls of left-arm spin. The Dolphins now meet the Peshawar Panthers in the first semi-final on Christmas Day.