Lions roar into semis as Tigers stun champions
LAHORE: Lahore Lions roared into the semi-finals of the Faysal Bank National Twenty20 Cup on Wednesday with a 44-run mauling of Quetta Bears, while Multan Tigers pulled off the biggest shock of the event by defeating reigning champions Sialkot Stallions by 42 runs as Faisalabad Wolves and Bahawalpur Stags kept their unbeaten run intact.
The Lions’ fifth successive victory in Group ‘A’ was quite remarkable since they had to defend a modest total of 130-9 at the Bagh-e-Jinnah. But the Lions bowlers restricted their opponents to just 86-7 in a match during which Nasir Jamshed’s 26 off 16 balls (six boundaries) remained the highest individual score. Pakistan other international stars Ahmed Shehzad (20), skipper Mohammad Hafeez (19), Umar Akmal (20) and Kamran Akmal (23) all chipped in useful contributions.
While the Lions sit in the pole position with 10 points, the Stallions now find themselves in an unaccustomed situation after losing their long unbeaten streak in the history of the competition. They are currently second in Group ‘A’ with six points; the Falcons also have same number of points but are third because of an inferior net run-rate.
The Tigers posted a healthy 155-6 at the Bagh-e-Jinnah with Sohaib Maqsood (38 off 41 balls, five boundaries and one six), Gulraiz Sadaf (32 off 21, three fours and two sixes) and Naved Yasin, who slammed undefeated 34 off 22 balls with three fours and one six, their leading run-getters.
Adeel Malik outshone his illustrious brother Shoaib Malik by taking 3-17, while Rana Naved-ul-Hasan took 2-26. Shoaib had figures of 0-25 in three overs.
The Stallions’ run chase ran into early problems with the first wickets going down for only 29 runs with the evergreen slow left-armer Zulfiqar Babar enhancing his claims in emphatic manner for inclusion in the India-bound Pakistan squad later this month.
After the senior Malik went for 24, it was a matter of time before the Tigers celebrated a famous victory — their second in four games of this event — as the Stallions were curtailed to 113-7. Nayyar Abbas struck a valiant 43 not out but his 38-ball knock
was not enough as Zulfiqar ended up with superb analysis of 4-15 in four overs.
Younis Khan again came good to guide the Falcons to a last-ball triumph by five wickets against Karachi Zebras at the LCCA Ground. The skipper hit three boundaries and a brace of sixes in an undefeated 48 off 28 balls as the Falcons overhauled the Zebras’ 135 by making 139-5.
Shaharyar Ghani was the leading run-getter for the Zebras with a 33-ball 46 (four fours and two sixes). Khalid Usman bagged three for 23.
The Stags’ dream run is still far from over as they recorded their four win on the trot. This time it was the turn of Lahore Eagles to bite the dust in the Group ‘B’ tie at the LCCA Ground.
Opener Imranullah Aslam was the cornerstone in the Stags’ run chase after the Eagles made 136-7 with captain Taufiq Umar (53 off 45 balls, sic fours) and Raza Ali Dar (43 off 40, six fours) the main scorers.
But Imranullah outscored both of them by hammering nine boundaries in his 46-ball knock of 60 before Kashif Siddique saw his time home with 39 not out, a 28-ball innings containing two fours and one six.
The Wolves also won for the fourth consecutive time despite missing their star bowler Saeed Ajmal, who left for Australia to make a token appearance for the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash T20 league.
The Wolves condemned Peshawar Panthers to their fourth defeat in five outings by cantering to a seven-wicket triumph at the Gaddafi Stadium. Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (43 off 29 balls, five boundaries and one six) and Imran Khalid (36 off 24, five fours) shared an unbroken partnership of 71 in 46 balls to settle the match.
Earlier, opener Israrullah (56 off 41 balls, five fours and three sixes) gave the Panthers a bright start before Shoaib Khan (24) and his younger sibling Zohaib (22) guided their side to 135-4.
The final match of day five saw Rawalpindi Rams beat their Group ‘A’ rivals Hyderabad Hawks by 19 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Shoaib Ahmed Minhas (50 not out from 41 balls, two fours and one six), Umar Amin (33 off 16, five fours and one six) and skipper Sohail Tanvir (43 off 31, five fours and one six) were the major contributors in the Rams’ score of 177-6.
The Hawks made a spirited response before finishing their innings at 158-6 with Aqeel Anjum entertaining latecomers to the ground with a fine an unbeaten 75 off 48 deliveries that included four sixes and six boundaries.
Abbottabad Falcons beat Karachi Zebras by five wickets at LCCA Ground.
KARACHI ZEBRAS 135 in 19.5 overs (Shaharyar Ghani 46, Daniyal Ahsan 30; Khalid Usman 3-23, Amjad Waqas 2-26); ABBOTTABAD FALCONS 139-5 in 20 overs (Younis Khan 48 not out, Hammad Ali 35; Haris Ayaz 2-30).
Multan Tigers beat Sialkot Stallions by 42 runs at Bagh-i-Jinnah.
MULTAN TIGERS 155-6 in 20 overs (Sohaib Maqsood 38, Naved Yasin 34 not out, Gulraiz Sadaf 32, Kashif Naved 20; Adeel Malik 3-17, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 2-26); SIALKOT STALLIONS 113-7 in 20 overs (Nayyar Abbas 43 not out, Shoaib Malik 24; Zulfiqar Babar 4-15).
Faisalabad Wolves beat Peshawar Panthers by seven wickets at Gaddafi Stadium.
PESHAWAR PANTHERS 135-4 in 20 overs (Israrullah 56, Shoaib Khan 24 not out, Zohaib Khan 22 not out); FAISALABAD WOLVES 137-3 in 18.2 overs (Misbah-ul-Haq 43 not out, Imran Khalid 36 not out, Ali Waqas 29).
Bahawalpur Stags beat Lahore Eagles by eight wickets at LCCA Ground.
LAHORE EAGLES 136-7 in 20 overs (Taufiq Umar 53, Raza Ali Dar 43; Mohammad Talha 2-19, Kamran Hussain 2-23, Ataullah 2-32); BAHAWALPUR STAGS 140-2 in 17.1 overs (Imranullah Aslam 60, Kashif Siddique 39 not out, Hamid Ali 29).
Lahore Lions beat Quetta Bears by 44 runs at Bagh-i-Jinnah.
LAHORE LIONS 130-9 in 20 overs (Nasir Jamshed 26, Kamran Akmal 23, Ahmed Shehzad 20, Umar Akmal 20; Mohibullah 3-15, Jalat Khan 3-23, Arun Lal 2-23); QUETTA BEARS 86-7 in 20 overs (Mir Wais 16; Tanzeel Altaf 2-1).
Rawalpindi Rams beat Hyderabad Hawks by 19 runs at Gaddafi Stadium.
RAWALPINDI RAMS 177-6 in 20 overs (Shoaib Ahmed Minhas 50 not out, Sohail Tanvir 43, Umar Amin 33; Lal Kumar 2-39); HYDERABAD HAWKS 158-6 in 20 overs (Aqeel Anjum 75 not out, Rizwan Ahmed 22, Azeem Ghumman 21; Awais Zia 2-24).
Karachi Zebras v Multan Tigers (LCCA Ground, 9:30am); Sialkot Stallions v Abbottabad Falcons (Bagh-i-Jinnah, 9:30am); Hyderabad Hawks v Bahawalpur Stags (Gaddafi Stadium, 12:00pm); Rawalpindi Rams v Lahore Eagles (LCCA Ground, 1:15pm); Karachi Dolphins v Faisalabad Wolves (Bagh-i-Jinnah, 1:15pm); Islamabad Leopards v Quetta Bears (Gaddafi Stadium, 4:00pm).