The Lahore Lions pipped the Peshawar Panthers by one wicket, with one ball to spare, in a high-scoring thriler at the Arbab Niaz Stadium.
After the Panthers lost two early wickets, opener Naved Khan made a patient 57 to steady the innings. Brisk fifties from the middle-order pair of Nawaz Ahmed and Akbar Badshah then put them on course for a big score. Nawaz scored 67 off 74 while Badshah was unbeaten on 81, which required only 73 deliveries. Jamaluddin chipped in with 43 as the Panthers finished on 287 for 6.
Opener Shahnawaz Malik (73) and No. 3 Mohammad Saeed (46) set the platform for the chase, but Badshah and Hidayatullah Khan picked up two wickets apiece to reduce the Lions to 175 for 6. Ahmed Butt and Mohammad Hussain both contributed 40s to keep the Lions in the hunt. The final flourish was provided by No. 10 Mohammad Shahzad, who smashed three sixes in his 30 off 13 balls to see his side home.
In Islamabad, Habib Bank Limited (HBL) completed a 67-run win over the Islamabad Leopards.
HBL's batsmen were guilty of failing to cash in on their starts, but they still managed to score 276. Aftab Alam top scored with 49, but from 231 for 9, it was the last-wicket pair that pushed their side to a challenging score. Again, it was a No. 10 who starred; Fahad Masood hit three sixes and two fours in his 23-ball 39.
Leopards suffered two setbacks at the hands of Gul at the start of their reply, before Umair Khan (62) and Ameer Khan (55) did the repair job. But three wickets for the left-arm spinner Mohammad Aslam, coupled with three run-outs, saw the Leopards bundled out for 209 in 41.5 overs, well short of their target.
Khan Research Laboratories continued their unbeaten run to stay on top of the group, posting a five-wicket win over the Quetta Bears in Rawalpindi
Saeed Ajmal took 4 for 50 as the Bears were restricted to 224. Shahzad Tareen and captain Nasim Khan made fifties but Ajmal triggered a mid-innings collapse. KRL captain Mohammad Wasim then anchored the chase with an unbeaten 81. Saeed Anwar jnr, his opening partner, made 33, while No. 6 Fahad-ul-Haq scored 47 at a run-a-ball as KRL reached their target with almost ten overs to spare. The Bears have lost all four games in the tournament so far.
In Sialkot, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) thrashed the Multan Tigers by 114 runs. Misbah-ul-Haq blitzed an unbeaten 125 off 89 deliveries as SNGPL racked up 307 after being put in. Mohammed Hafeez, the SNGPL captain and opener, laid the foundation with 17-year-old Umar Akmal after they had been reduced to 7 for 2. Both fell in the 60s, but Misbah took over to take SNGPL past 300. Kashif Naved conceded 25 off his only over.
Opening bowler Asad Ali then took 4 for 23, while Hafeez chipped in with three wickets as the Tigers were dismissed for 193 in 43.4 overs. Usman Tariq top scored with 68 but there was little contribution from his team-mates and the Tigers fell to their third successive defeat.
At the Sheikhupura Stadium, Water and Power Development Authority eased to a five-wicket win over the Hyderabad Hawks. Sarfraz Ahmed struck twice as the Hawks were reduced to 17 for 3. Despite captain Rizwan Ahmed's 34 and a 61 from Shahid Qambrani, the Hawks managed only 160, as none of their other batsmen scored more than 15.
Sunny Irshad's 61 and Aamer Sajjad's unbeaten 41 helped WAPDA reach their target in the 34th over. Nauman Ali picked up two of the five wickets to fall, conceding only 30 from his ten.
Sixteen-year-old Ahmed Shehzad scored an unbeaten 88 off 84 balls to steer the Lahore Eagles to an emphatic eight-wicket win over Pakistan Customs at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Shehzad's knock came after a disciplined bowling performance from the Eagles kept the Customs down to 201. Arsalan Mir grabbed 4 for 36 and Azam Khan and Sohail Ahmed took two wickets apiece as Pakistan Customs were all out in 46.1 overs. The Eagles in reply needed only 30.5 overs to overhaul their target.
In Faisalabad, the script wasn't too different. The Karachi Zebras chose to field and limited the Faisalabad Wolves to 200, a score they chased down in 36.2 overs and for the loss of only three wickets.
Chinaman bowler Ahsan Baig, who was part of Pakistan Under-19 squad for the World Cup in Malaysia, took 3 for 47, while Fahad Khan and Afsar Nawaz picked a couple each. Shahzaib Hasan powered the chase with his 76, while Khalid Latif and Rameez Raja contributed 40s. For the Wolves, Saadat Munir had figures of 10-2-41-3.
In Karachi, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited also decided to field first, and restricted the Karachi Dolphins to 154, thanks to opening bowler Kashif Daud's 4 for 16, supported by two-wicket hauls for Mohammad Khalil and Inam-ul-Haq.
Inam-ul-Haq then opened the batting and remained unbeaten on a run-a-ball 66 as the target was achieved with seven wickets and nearly half the overs to spare. Afaq Raheem was the other not-out batsman, with his 54 coming off 40 deliveries.
After a tense encounter with the Rawalpindi Rams in Karachi, group leaders Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) managed to extend their unbeaten streak with a 11-run win.
PIA were off to a solid start after deciding to bat, with a century stand between openers Khurram Manzoor and Yasir Hameed. However, both fell in quick succession, and only 103 runs were put on for nine wickets. Hameed top scored with 59, while Mohammed Aamer scalped 3 for 40 off his ten overs. Yasir Ali and Babar Naeem took two wickets each as PIA were all out for 210, one ball short of their alloted 50 overs.
Naeem then scored a brisk 56 in the Rams' reply, but the next-best score among the top six was 15. Yasir Murtaza made a handy 42, and Under-19 player Mohammad Rameez's unbeaten 28 at No. 10 was in vain as the Rams were bowled for 199, with 11 balls still to go in their innings. All the five PIA bowlers were among the wickets, with Najaf Shah and Nauman Alvi taking three each.
In a game held on March 25, Junaid Khan's 4 for 16, and three-wicket hauls for left-arm spinners Noor-ul-Amin and Khalid Usman set up a resounding nine-wicket win for the Abbottabad Rhinos against Sui Southern Gas Corporation (SSGC) in Karachi.
SSGC decided to bat, but Junaid reduced them to 19 for 4. Saeed Bin Nazir, the SSGC captain, scored 42 as he revived the innings in a 67-run stand with Mohammad Zafar (13). Noor-ul-Amin and Khalid got into the act then, and quickly wrapped the innings as six wickets fell for 18 runs. In 9.3 overs, Noor-ul-Amin scalped 3 for 28, while Khalid had figures of 3 for 5 in his five as SSGC capitulated for 104 all out.
Wajid Ali powered the Rhinos' chase with an unbeaten 52. He put on a 77-run opening stand with wicketkeeper Ghulam Mohammad (30), and Usman Khan chipped in with 16 not out as the Rhinos reached their target in the 21st over to clinch their first win in four games.