Inspite of running up a big total of 307 for the loss of six wickets and winning their third and final round match against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) by four wickets here at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) still couldn't qualify for the semifinals. Instead, NBP joined defending champions Habib Bank Limited (HBL) in the semi-finals.
NBP were off to a good start through left-handed openers Salman Butt (48) and Qaiser Abbas (51). Later, Shahid Yousuf hit 104 off 80 balls with nine fours and two sixes in a fourth-wicket stand of 132 with Fawad Alam, whose unbeaten 59 came off just 38 balls with eight fours.
ZTBL batted more consistently and sparkling half-centuries by Aamer Bashir (57), Adnan Raza (55) and captain Naved Ashraf (62*) took them through to a score of 307 and win with a full over to spare.
The first three teams in the Group A table all had an identical record with eight points each. ZTBL lost out on a semifinal place on the basis of net run-rate.
Habib Bank easily defeated last season's runners-up Pakistan Customs by eight wickets at Sheikhupura Stadium , who ended at the bottom of the table after having been beaten in all their three matches. Customs batted first after winning the toss and managed a score of just 190 for 9 in the stipulated 50 overs. Habib Bank were home in a mere 31.2 overs, led by half centuries by Imran Farhat and Rafatullah Mohmand.
Mohmand was unbeaten on 91 off 94 balls with 13 fours and a six. He and Farhat added 141 for the second wicket. Farhat's 72 came off 76 deliveries with nine fours and a six.
Earlier, Wajihuddin top-scored for Customs with 80 off 106 balls, with four fours and four sixes.
Rain in Rawalpindi washed out the match between Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium as well the game between Khan Research Laboratories and Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) at the Khan Research Laboratories ground. All four teams involved being forced to share two points each.
SNGPL's ranking in the group remained unchanged though and with ten points from three matches of which they won two, qualified for the semifinals as the points table leaders.Both PIA and KRL finished with six points each. PIA, however, made the last-four as they had a superior net run-rate as compared to KRL's.
In the semifinals to be played on Friday, PIA will meet defending champions Habib Bank at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore while SNGPL are pitted against National Bank of Pakistan at the Sheikhupura Stadium.