Multan were just four wickets away from returning to the Gold League circuit after they reduced Islamabad to 79 for 6, still 282 away from victory, on the third day of the Silver League final at the Iqbal Stadium.
Resuming on 125 for 4 with an overall lead of 156 runs, Multan reached 329 in the second innings and set Islamabad a target of 361. Azhar Shafiq was mainly responsible for his team's strong position. He came in at 131 for 5 and scored 97 off 147 balls with 16 fours and a six. With Bilal Khilji, who made 54 off 152 balls with eight fours, his sixth-wicket stand was worth 64. Kamran Hussain scored 42 off 75 balls and helped Azhar add 118 for the seventh wicket.
While Kamran and Abdul Rauf struck a couple of blows each as Islamabad batted the second time, Azhar Shafiq took 2 for 3 in his three overs of medium pace. This is the replay final after the previous match had to be abandoned due to rain.
On both occasions, Islamabad were without their captain Rao Iftikhar, allrounder Azhar Mahmood and fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar. Multan had no such problems, being able to call upon their best available players. Last season, Multan had finished at the bottom of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Championship Gold League table. They were thus demoted to the Silver League. Now, they have managed to place themselves in a position to return to the first-division circuit.