NBP will face Wapda, while HBL will lock horns with SNGPL in the semi-finals of the President’s Cup one-day tournament which has been moved from Lahore to Karachi.
In yesterday’s matches, Misbahul Haq, who has adopted an aggressive approach in recent matches, hit a quickfire 79 to help SNGPL defeat NBP by 76 runs at the LCCA Ground in Lahore.
Batting first, SNGPL scored 262 for nine in 50 overs as Misbah made the bowlers pay during his 60-ball stay, hitting four sixes and half-a-dozen boundaries. Azhar Ali (47) and Taufeeq Umar (40) also chipped in with important knocks while Wahab Riaz took three wickets but conceded 61 runs.
In reply, NBP, who were already through to the semis, crawled their way to 186 for seven in 50 overs. Fawad Alam remained not out on 58 off 93 while Mohamamd Nawaz scored 57.
NBP’s slow progress on a batting wicket was questionable as Alam and Raza Hasan took their time at the end despite having wickets in hand.
Meanwhile, KRL successfully contained PQA despite a fighting century from Umar Amin to register a 40-run win at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Set a target of 313, PQA were in the hunt through Amin’s 100-ball 112 laced with 11 boundaries, but loss of wickets in quick succession meant they were all out for 272 in 47.3 overs. Ariz Kamal made 57 while Nauman Ali and Saeed Anwar Jr took three wickets apiece.
In a Group B match, Aslam Qureshi and Ehsan Adil claimed seven wickets between them to bowl HBL to a three-wicket win against hosts UBL.
Batting first, UBL were all out for 200 with 15 balls to spare. All-rounder Kashif Bhatti scored 71 with a six and 10 boundaries as Qureshi took four scalps with Adil claiming three.
In reply, HBL raced to 203 for three in 37.1 overs as Hasan Raza (69) and Asad Shafiq (51) hit unbeaten fifties.
Elsewhere, PIA destroyed SBP’s hopes of making it to the last-four as they won by eight wickets at the National Stadium.
SBP were all out for 196 in 45 overs with Gulraiz Sadaf scoring 57 as Aizaz Cheema took three scalps. In reply, PIA made 197 in 41.2 overs with Kamran Sajid’s undefeated 73, while Agha Sabir hammered 72 with a dozen fours.
Witnesses suspect foul-play
Meanwhile, there was suspicions of foul-play during the match between SNGPL and NBP as officials questioned the latter’s approach in the run-chase. NBP were seen going at snail’s pace towards the target and an official requested the Pakistan Cricket Board to set up an inquiry.
“It looked as if the NBP were openly favouring SNGPL to qualify for the semis,” a Lahore City Cricket Association (LCCA) official who witnessed the match told The Express Tribune. “They can make up a 100 excuses but for once the PCB should setup an inquiry to at least send a strong statement that it will not tolerate such favours even in domestic cricket.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2013.