Karachi Blues closed in on a place in the finals of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy after defeating hosts Lahore Shalimar by seven wickets in their Super Eight stage Group-B second round match yesterday.
It was the Blues’ second victory in the Super Eights which took them at the summit of their group with 18 points as they took maximum nine points from this match.
Set a target of 182, Blues comfortably chased it down in just 34.4 overs for the loss of three wickets. Wajiduddin, who made 112-ball 98 with 17 boundaries, was the start performer.
Earlier, Shalimar were all out for 299 in their second innings as Saad Nasim (69), Usman Salahuddin (53) and Fahad-ul-Haq (50) scored half-centuries. Tabish Khan took three wickets while Zohaib Shera claimed three scalps.
Meanwhile, Adnan Akmal (149) and Sami Aslam (144) struck timely centuries to lead Lahore Ravi’s strongly reply which saw them end day three on 353 for five against Hyderabad, who amassed 584.
Akmal’s 246-ball stay produced 23 boundaries while Aslam hit 21 fours in his knock as Rehan Riaz picked up three wickets.
In group A, Sialkot took a 74-run first-innings lead against Islamabad, thanks to centuries from Zeeshan Mushtaq and Shoaib Malik at the Diamond Ground.
Sialkot started the day at 215 for five and went on to make 377 for eight before play was called off. Mushtaq made 133 while Malik scored 114 off 205 with 14 strikes to the fence.
In the matches of the bottom-placed teams, Ramiz Ahmed’s unbeaten 130 lifted Abbottabad to 305 for eight after being forced to follow-on by Faisalabad at the Mirpur Stadium. However, they had only managed a slender lead of 55 runs.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2013.