Sialkot Stallions and Karachi Dolphins storm into finals

Twenty20 Cup semi-finals round-up

Cricinfo staff
1st semi-final
Shahid Afridi showed little remorse to his own, as Karachi's most famous Pathan led the Karachi Dolphins into the final of the Twenty20 competition with a comfortable five-wicket win over the Peshawar Panthers. The Dolphins were in some strife, at 57 for 4 chasing 125 when Afridi arrived. But poor batting form was immediately shrugged aside, as Afridi crashed five sixes and three fours in a 19-ball 49. One of the sixes, off Mohammad Fayyaz, sailed over midwicket and out of the National Stadium itself, one of the largest grounds in Pakistan. When he left, attempting another six, only one run was needed for the win. The batting alone would have won him the match award, but he also picked up two wickets in a disciplined all-round bowling performance from the Dolphins earlier in the evening just to make doubly sure.
2nd semi-final
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik ensured that many people's favourites for the title, and reigning champions, the Sialkot Stallions, made it through to another final with a crushing nine-wicket win over Lahore Lions. The Lions never recovered from a shocking start that saw them stagger to 25 for 4; they never really recovered, Naved-ul-Hasan finishing it with yorkers and figures of 3 for 9. Malik and Abdur Rehman chipped in with two each. A meager target of was made to look utterly feeble, as Nazir and Malik opened with a bang. The century partnership was up in just over 12 overs and though Malik went soon after for 31, Nazir calmly led his side home with a manic 76.