Sialkot sneak past Islamabad in T20 tournament

Shoaib Malik and Ali Khan made useful contributions. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

A match-winning knock by Shakeel Ansar saw Sialkot Stallions beat Islamabad Leopards by four wickets in an exciting encounter in the Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 tournament. The defeat means that Islamabad are dumped out of the tournament.


Chasing 171, Sialkot were off to a horrendous start, having been reduced to 31 for three as the top-order was blown away by Islamabad’s opening bowlers. A 61-run fourth-wicket stand between Shahid Yousuf (41) and Ansar brought Sialkot back into the contest. Ansar hit a 34-ball 55, which contained five boundaries.


Shoaib Malik and Ali Khan also made useful contributions. Saad Altaf and Iftikhar Anjum picked up two wickets each but were not able to stop Sialkot’s progress.


Earlier, Islamabad put up a good show with the bat, a 55-run second-wicket stand between Nauman Masood and Fakhar Hussain being the highlight of their innings. Abdur Rehman’s three-wicket haul put the brakes on Islamabad’s scoring rate and ensured that Sialkot did not have too daunting a task at hand batting second.


Rawalpindi beat Multan to enter semis


Earlier, Rawalpindi Rams became the second team from Group B, after Karachi Dolphins, to make an entry into the semi-finals, beating Multan Tigers by seven wickets.


Chasing a modest 129 for victory, Rawalpindi went about their chase in a professional manner despite a brief stumble in the top-order before reaching the target in the 14th over. After putting on 32 for the first wicket, openers Awais Zia and Naveed Malik were out in quick succession but Jamal Anwar and Sohail Tanvir, who both top-scored with 39 each, made sure that the job was completed without any major hiccups. Zulfiqar Babar finished with one for 23.


Earlier, left-arm spinner Raza Hasan pulled of a match-winning performance, picking up a four-wicket haul, after Multan openers Yasir Arafat (27) and Zain Abbas had put on 51. A 48-run fourth wicket stand between Naved Yasin and Zeeshan Ashraf ensured that Multan passed the 100-run mark, but their departure saw the rest of the line-up collapsing for the addition of only 18 runs.


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