KARACHI: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) stormed into the final of the Faysal Bank T20 Cup for departments when they overcame Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and United Bank Limited (UBL), respectively, in the semi-finals at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Monday.
The final will be held on Tuesday (today) at 5pm. In the first pre-final, SNGPL, who were joined by Pakistan’s skipper Misbah-ul-Haq after returning from South Africa, whacked PIA by nine wickets thanks to fine bowling from their bowlers and a splendid fifty from stumper Rizwan Ahmed.
After being invited to bat, PIA’s batting failed to impress and they were restricted to 107 only in the allotted 20 overs.
Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik was the only batsman who batted confidently, scoring 43-ball 42 with four glorious sixes.
Shoaib hit medium pacer Tanveer Sikandar for three consecutive sixes in the 17th over of the innings.
Shoaib’s younger brother Adeel made run-a-ball 18, which included a six off left-arm international pacer Samiullah Niazi.
Sheharyar Ghani belted 12-ball 14, hitting Khurram Shehzad for a glorious six.
Pacer Imran Ali (2-21) played a key role for SNGPL as he removed openers Kamran Sajid (8) and stumper Sarfraz Ahmed (1) in quick succession.
He was ably assisted by left-arm spinner Imran Khalid who captured 2-21, including the prized scalp of Shoaib.
Leggie Yasir Shah remained the most economical of SNGPL bowlers as he finished with 1-12 in his four overs.
In response, SNGPL lost their skipper Taufeeq Umar (12) cheaply. But keeper Rizwan blasted fine unbeaten 60 off 54 balls to take his side home safely in 16.5 overs without losing any further wicket.
Rizwan, who smashed five fours and two sixes in his commanding knock, put on 93 runs for the second wicket with left-hander Ali Waqas, who scored 28 not out off 41 deliveries.
Left-arm pacer Najaf Shah claimed 1-36 from four overs.
In the other semi-final, ZTBL overwhelmed unpredictable UBL by 35 runs thanks to career-best bowling from international pacer Junaid Zia and a fluent unbeaten fifty from Yasir Hameed.
Chasing 179, Ahsan Ali (43) and Abid Ali (35) gave a solid 81 runs start to UBL. However, after the partnership was broken the wickets started falling at regular intervals and the bankers were restricted to 143-9.
Ahsan struck seven fours from 37 balls, while Abid smashed four fours from 35 deliveries.
Wajihuddin (18) and Saad Sukhail (14*) were the only other batters to manage double figures.
The 29-year-old Janaid destroyed UBL batting as he ripped through the top order, finishing with impressive figures of 5-31 from four overs.
Left-arm spinner Zohaib Khan clinched 2-26.
Earlier, Test cricketer Yasir (61*) played another fine innings to guide ZTBL to post 178-3 in the stipulated overs. Yasir added 92 runs off the last 50 balls with Shahid Yousuf (44*) for the fourth wicket to enable their team to post 178-3. The duo plundered 67 runs from the last five overs. They accumulated 20 runs from the last over of medium pacer Tariq Haroon, who was hit by Shahid for two sixes.
Yasir smashed three sixes and three fours from 46 balls, while Shahid hammered three sixes and three fours in his explosive 25-ball innings.
Left-handed opener Sharjeel Khan (41) had set the tone by hitting three mighty sixes and three fours from just 25 balls he faced.
Skipper Imran Nazir cracked 13-ball 18 with three fours.
Off-spinner Atif Maqbool grabbed 2-32, while Asif Raza picked 1-21.