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Lahore Blues crush Sialkot to qualify for Quaid Trophy

Lahore Blues crush Sialkot to qualify for Quaid Trophy

KARACHI: Lahore Blues, as expected, qualified for the upcoming Quaid-i-Azam Trophy National Cricket Championship on Thursday after recording a 10-wicket victory over Sialkot on the final day of the inter-region qualifying tournament.

Needing just 77 runs to overhaul Sialkot at the top of Pool ‘B’ standings, Lahore Blues got home in style at the National Stadium in Karachi by reaching 80-0 midway through the 18th over.

Waqas Saleem led the chase by striking six boundaries and a brace of sixes in his undefeated knock of 50 from 51 balls, while his opening partner Tayyab Tahir scored a 58-ball 26 with three fours and one six.

Earlier, Sialkot resumed at 48-8 in their second innings before being all out for 77. Raza Ali Dar and Saad Nasim finished with three wickets apiece, for seven and 18 runs, respectively, while Aftab Azhar and Bilawal Iqbal took two wickets each.

Fata, who upstaged Karachi Blues by 81 runs inside three days on Wednesday, have already qualified from pool ‘A’ to compete at the first-class level for the first time in their history.

Fata and Lahore Blues will play in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy with fellow regional outfits Karachi Whites, Lahore Whites, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar.

Meanwhile, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) are emerging as the most likely qualifiers for the country’s most prestigious first-class competition after sealing contrasting third-round victories on Thursday in the qualifying competition for the departments.

Leaders SSGC had to fight hard to down Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) at the Multan Cricket Stadium, and in the process recorded their third successive win.

KRL, who resumed at 93-5 on the fourth and final day in pursuit of a 293-run target, were fought back to reach 248 all out in their second innings to lose by 44 runs.

Abdul Rehman Muzammil almost carried his side to an incredible victory as he and Nauman Ali combined to put on a superb partnership of 123 for the sixth wicket. But once the stand was broken, SSGC bounced back as the last five wickets went down for the addition of 45 runs.

Rehman was extremely unfortunate to miss out on a hundred by just one run. His 99 from 208 balls included 10 boundaries and one six. Nauman, on the other hand, contributed 63 off 103 deliveries with eight fours and one six.

Mohammad Amir ended with a 10-wicket haul for the match after claiming another wicket on Thursday to finish with four for 53 in the second innings, giving the Pakistan left-arm speedster figures of 10 for 85.

SBP chalked up their second triumph in three games to remain in contention for the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy when they trounced Karachi Port Trust (KPT) by an innings and runs at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium.

KPT, who were 179-4 in their second innings at draw of stumps on Wednesday, added a further 111 runs before being dismissed for 290 with Taimur Ali, who began the day on 67, out for 95 (247 balls, 12 fours and one six).

Slow left-armer Kashif Bhatti captured four wickets for 61 runs while paceman Nazar Hussain grabbed four for 65.

Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) finally got off the mark with their first win in the tournament as they decimated PIA by an innings and 119 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

PIA failed to add any run to their overnight tally of 168-8 before suffering their second defeat. Off-spinner Aaqib Shah took one more wicket on Thursday to end up with excellent figures of seven for 74.

The fourth round of matches in the departmental tournament starts from Sunday.

Scores and results on Thursday (final day of four):

Inter-department qualifying tournament:

Third round:

At Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan: SSGC beat KRL by 44 runs.

SSGC 243 in 82 overs (Tariq Haroon 87, Mohammad Amir 69 not out; Mohammad Abbas 4-52, Majid Ali 2-43, Sadaf Hussain 2-48) and 186 in 70.5 overs (Usman Tariq 47, Muzammil Nizam 46, Asif Zakir 30; Nauman Ali 5-22, Mohammad Abbas 3-60, Majid Ali 2-55); KRL 137 in 43 overs (Saeed Anwar Jr 50, Nauman Ali 30, Usman Arshad 28; Mohammad Amir 6-32, Mohammad Irfan 2-22) and 248 in 93.2 overs (Abdul Rehman Muzammil 99, Nauman Ali 53, Nawaz Ahmed 27; Mohammad Amir 4-53, Adnan Ghous 2-45, Tariq Haroon 2-61).

At Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad: State Bank beat KPT by an innings 44 runs.

KPT 163 in 71 overs (Ahmed Iqbal 60 not out, Taimur Ali 30; Kamran Ghulam 3-24, Nazar Hussain 3-38, Mohammad Naveed 2-33) and 290 in 105.1 overs (Taimur Ali 95, Ahmed Iqbal 40, Mohammad Hasan 34 not out, Faisal Khan 33, Nabeel Malik 22; Kashif Bhatti 4-61, Nazar Hussain 4-65); STATE BANK 497 in 116.3 overs (Saad Ali 144, Israrullah 130, Kamran Ghulam 99, Mukhtar Ahmed 28, Abid Ali 25; Babar Rehman 4-89, Khalid Mahmood 2-78).

At Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore: ZTBL beat PIA by an innings and 119 runs.

PIA 168 in 60.2 overs (Fahad Iqbal 56, Aizaz Cheema 37; Sohail Tanvir 4-20, Zohaib Khan 3-26) and 168-8 in 64.3 overs (Shahzar Mohammad 54, Shayan Jahangir 25, Mohammad Umar 21; Aaqib Shah 7-74, Sajjad Hussain 2-20); ZTBL 455-6 declared in 140 overs (Rameez Alam 122, Zohaib Khan 121, Aaqib Shah 103 not out, Sohail Tanvir 30, Ahmed Rasheed 26; Aqeel Arshad 3-72, Hazrat Shah 2-92).

Inter-regional qualifying tournament:

Pool ‘B’:

At National Stadium, Karachi: Lahore Blues beat Sialkot by 10 wickets.

SIALKOT 359 in 108.5 overs (Faisal Rasheed 105 not out, Mansoor Amjad 89, Hasan Ali 51, Atiq-ur-Rehman 30, Ahsan Bhatti 21; Aftab Azhar 3-54, Saad Nasim 3-74, Bilawal Iqbal 2-70) and 77 in 19.5 overs (Raza Ali Dar 3-7, Saad Nasim 3-18, Aftab Azhar 2-19, Bilawal Iqbal 2-27); LAHORE BLUES 360 in 71 overs (Fahad-ul-Haq 88, Farhan Khan 74, Bilawal Iqbal 51 not out, Agha Salman 36, Saad Nasim 35, Waqas Saleem 31; Hasan Ali 5-132, Faisal Rasheed 2-49) and 80-0 in 17.3 overs (Waqas Saleem 50 not out, Tayyab Tahir 26 not out).

Inter-regional event final standings
(Tabulated under: played, won, lost, drawn, points):

Pool ‘A’:
Fata 3 3 0 0 27
Karachi Blues 3 1 1 1 9
Faisalabad 3 1 2 0 9
Abbottabad 3 0 2 1 3

Pool ‘B’
Lahore Blues 3 3 0 0 27
Sialkot 3 2 1 0 19
Bahawalpur 3 1 2 0 9
Multan 3 0 3 0 0

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2015

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