Shakeel’s heroics keep Stallions in hunt for semis
LAHORE: Sialkot Stallions kept their Faysal Bank Super Eight T-20 Cup semi-final aspirations alive after chalking up a four-wicket win against Islamabad Leopards at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad on Wednesday.
Shakeel Ansar was the Stallions’ hero with a robust 55 after his side had been in some bother at 31-3 while chasing a stiff 171. The wicket-keeper/batsman, however, took the responsibility to revive the chase by striking five fours and a brace of sixes.
Together with Shahid Yousuf, who struck five boundaries in scoring a 37-ball 41, Shakeel put on 61 for the fourth wicket. Shoaib Malik, the Stallions captain, then arrived to add a further 43 with Shakeel with the former Pakistan skipper hitting two sixes in a 13-ball cameo of 20.
Ali Khan completed the formalities without trouble as he slammed two sixes and a four in his unbeaten 22 off only nine deliveries as the Stallions won with five balls left.
Earlier, the Leopards’ innings of 170-9 revolved around opener Nauman Masood who top-scored with 47 off 24 balls with the help of five fours and three sixes. Slow left-armer Abdur Rehman took 3-28.
The Stallions’ qualification hopes now depend on the outcome of the last preliminary round match between Group ‘A’ leaders Lahore Lions and Hyderabad Hawks, who were playing at the time of filing this report. If the Hawks upset their fancied opponents then all three teams will finish
with equal points with the net run-rate coming into play to decide the qualifiers from this pool.
Rawalpindi Rams, meanwhile, joined Karachi Dolphins in the semi-finals from Group ‘B’ with an easy seven-wicket win over Multan Tigers in Tuesday’s late night fixture.
Chasing a modest 129, the Rams rammed home thanked to the unfinished 73-run partnership between wicket-keeper Jamal Anwar and Sohail
Tanvir with each scoring 39. While Jamal laced his 29-ball knock with five fours and one six, the left-handed Sohail bludgeoned five fours and a brace of sixes after the Rams had lost three wickets for 61 runs.
Earlier, the Tigers suffered an inexplicable collapse when the last seven wickets crashed for just 26 runs. The destroyer was slow left-armer Raza Hasan who claimed four for 21.
Sialkot Stallions beat Islamabad Leopards by four wickets.
ISLAMABAD LEOPARDS 170-9 in 20 overs (Nauman Masood 47, Naeem Anjum 30, Fakhar Hussain 23, Shan Masood 23; Abdur Rehman 3-28, Sarmad Anwar 2-27); SIALKOT STALLIONS 171-6 in 19.1 overs (Shakeel Ansar 55, Shahid Yousuf 41, Ali Khan 22 not out, Shoaib Malik 20; Saad Altaf 2-24, Rao Iftikhar 2-30).
Rawalpindi Rams beat Multan Tigers by seven wickets.
MULTAN TIGERS 128 in 19.5 overs (Yasir Arafat Jr 27, Naved Yasin 22, Zeeshan Ashraf 22, Zain Abbas 21; Raza Hasan 4-21, Sohail Tanvir 2-21, Hammad Azam 2-25); RAWALPINDI RAMS 134-3 in 14.3 overs (Jamal Anwar 39 not out, Sohail Tanvir 39 not out).