Sohail sets up sizeable Sialkot win


Sialkot Stallions, Multan Tigers, Bahawalpur Stags, Faisalabad Wolves, Rawalpindi Rams and Islamabad Leopards ease to win in the Faysal Bank National T20 Cup here on Thursday. Haris Sohail scored a brisk half-century to give Sialkot Stallions a target their bowlers defended comfortably against Abbottabad Falcons. The 34-run win was Sialkot’s fourth success in five matches and they were second in Group A.
Sialkot’s top order had stumbled – they were 69 for 3 in the 11th over – before Sohail made an unbeaten 62 off 43 balls to lead his team to 164. Sohail had a 79-run stand for the fourth wicket with his captain Shoaib Malik. Fast bowler Junaid Khan was Abbottabad’s best bowler, with figures of 3 for 22.
Abbottabad overcame the early loss of Mir Azam to reach 79 for 1 in the 13th over but they failed to accelerate from that platform. They lost four wickets for 14 runs to slip to 110 for 6 and eventually ended on 130.
Scores: Sialkot Stallions 164 for 6 (Sohail 62*, Junaid 3-22) beat Abbottabad Falcons 130 for 7 (Hameed 37, Naved-ul-Hasan 2-26) by 34 runs
Tigers’ rise sink Zebras: Multan Tigers rose to the third spot in Group A with a 17-run win against Karachi Zebras in Lahore. Put in to bat, Multan lost opener Sohaib Maqsood in the second over, but made steady progress for the next seven overs as Zain Abbas and Gulraiz Sadaf scored 48 together. But Karachi’s Faraz Ahmed and Haaris Ayas picked up two wickets apiece to reduce Multan to 87 for 5 in the 15th over. It was then that Saeed Anwar Jr launched a counterattack, hitting 39 off 22 and sharing a 52-run stand with Kashif Naved to help the team finish on a high.
Multan carried the momentum into their bowling, with Mohammad Irfan striking off the first ball of the innings. Two more wickets went down in the next two overs, pushing Karachi onto the back foot. Rahat Ali and Anwar Jr shared seven wickets between them to derail the chase and help Multan win comfortably in the end.
Scores: Multan Tigers 140 for 6 (Zain 46, Haaris 2-22) beat Karachi Zebras 123 (Rahat 4-15, Anwar 3-22)
Stags maintain win run: Bahawalpur Stags maintained their winning run with an 11-run win against Hyderabad Hawks, who are yet to register a victory. Bahawalpur were set back early after choosing to bat, but healthy contributions of 40, 34 and 37 from Ali Haider, Usman Tariq and Bilal Khilji ensured the team crossed the 150-run mark. Haider was the most aggressive – his 40 came off 26 balls with five fours and a six. In their chase, Hyderabad had made brisk progress to 44 when Ataullah struck in the sixth over to remove Sharjeel Khan. Other Bahawalpur bowlers soon joined in; they kept the scoring under tight control and picked up the wickets as the pressure got to the batsmen. Twenty-eight were required off the last two overs, but Kamran Hussain and Mohammad Talha both picked up two wickets each in the last two overs to seal the win.
Scores: Bahawalpur Stags 154 for 7 (Haider 40, Riaz 2-26) beat Hyderabad Hawks 143 for 8 (Khilji 2-24, Kamran 2-26) by 11 runs
Wolves stay unbeaten: Faisalabad Wolves kept their unbeaten record intact with a narrow two-wicket win against Karachi Dolphins at the Bagh-e-Jinnah in Lahore. Chasing 148, Faisalabad were in danger of running out of batsmen when 19 were required off 16 balls and only two wickets were left. But Misbah-ul-Haq remained unbeaten on 72 and scored 17 out of 19 in the ninth-wicket partnership to help Faisalabad cross the line off the last delivery.
Misbah took only 47 balls to score his runs and hit four boundaries and three sixes in the innings. He didn’t receive much support at the other end, 17 being the second highest score. Earlier, Karachi were cruising on 85 for 1 in the 12th over after a half-century stand between Khurram Manzoor and Khalid Latif. However, both batsmen were out in the space of three balls off Ehsan Adil’s bowling and that slowed down the charge. Adil picked up four wickets as Karachi were restricted to 147.
Scores: Faisalabad Wolves 148 for 8 (Misbah 72*, Misbah Khan 3-44) beat Karachi Dolphins 147 for 6 (Manzoor 51, Adil 4-28) by two wickets
Rams cage eagles: A big-hitting century partnership between the Rawalpindi Rams openers helped their team to overhaul Lahore Eagles’ total with ease – they won by eight wickets with more than five overs to spare. Naved Malik and Awais Zia hit 11 sixes between them and put up 135 runs in 12.1 overs to make short work of the 156-run target. Malik scored 77 off 41 balls and Zia, 54 off 36, but both fell with the target in sight. Lahore Eagles had chosen to bat and with the help of contributions from everyone in the batting order, had scored 155. Yasir Arafat was the most successful bowler for Rawalpindi with 3 for 37.
Scores: Rawalpindi Rams 156 for 2 (Naved 77, Awais 54) beat Lahore Eagles 155 for 5 (Nasim 44*, Arafat 3-37) by eight wickets
Leopards beat Bears: In a clash that pitted the bottom-rung Group A teams against each other, Islamabad Leopards beat Quetta Bears by five wickets at the Gaddafi Stadium. This was Islamabad’s first win in five matches, while Quetta remained winless after the same number of games.
Islamabad chose to bowl, and the decision paid off straightaway as seamer Iftikhar Anjum struck in each of his first three overs to leave Quetta reeling at 17 for 3 in the sixth. Apart from getting the wickets, Iftikhar kept a tight leash on the scoring, having conceding only 2.75 runs per over by the end of his spell. The other bowlers too kept things tight for the most part, and struck with regularity to restrict Quetta to 111 for 7. The chase was off to a poor start too, as Islamabad lost opener Shan Masood for a golden duck and No. 3 Moed Ahmed for 1, but the rest of the top and middle order produced cameos and that was enough to propel their team past their meagre target with nine balls to spare.
Scores: Islamabad Leopards 115 for 5 (Nadir 32) beat Quetta Bears 111 for 7 (Farhan 32, Iftikhar 3-11) by five wickets