Shahid Afridi blitz gives HBL smashing start

Friday, March 21, 2008

Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Islamabad Leopards and Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) won their opening round Group A matches, in the 2007-08 National ABN AMRO Cup One-day Cricket Championship, at various centres on Thursday.

Habib Bank easily defeated Quetta Bears at Arbab Niaz Stadium Peshawar by five wickets. They bowled the Quetta team out for a modest 213 runs in 48.5 overs and then, thanks to a marvellous 84 by skipper Shahid Afridi, off a mere 27 balls with eight fours and seven sixes, scored 214-5 in a matter of 28.2 overs.

At the Diamond Club Ground here, Islamabad Leopards had the better of Peshawar Panthers by a four-wicket margin. Opener Umair Khan provided Islamabad just the right incentive, as he hit a brilliant 109 off 134 balls with 13 fours to set the ball rolling.

After Peshawar had scored 255 all out in 49.5 overs, Islamabad overhauled their total making 258 runs in reply for the loss of six wickets and won with 10 balls to spare. Aided by an unbeaten 106 off 89 balls with six fours and four sixes by Azhar Ali, KRL rattled up a score of 288-3 in their fifty overs at the KRL Stadium in Rawalpindi. Lahore Lions were then dismissed for 181 for a 107-run win.

Quetta Bears 213 in 48.5 overs (Shoaib Khan 50, Nasim Khan 62, Faisal Irfan 46*; Abdul Rehman 4-37).
Habib Bank
214-5 in 28.2 overs (Khaqan Arsal 38, Shahid Afridi 84, Salman Qadir 37*).

Peshawar Panthers 255 in 49.5 overs (Usman Zaib 42, Mohammad Fayyaz 36, Nawaz Ahmed 56; Raheel Majeed 4-47).
Islamabad Leopards 258-6 in 48.2 overs (Umair Khan 109, Naeem Anjum 53*, Rauf Akbar 41*).

KRL 288-3 in 50 overs (Saeed Anwar 71, Mohammad Wasim 32, Azhar Ali 106*, Bazid Khan 45).
Lahore Lions 181 in 37.2 overs (Haroon Rasheed 32, Asif Khan 39; Saeed Anwar 3-28).

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Will Pakistan Premier League gain success just like Indian Premier League ?