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Peshawar, Karachi Whites, Multan and FATA reach Pakistan Cup semi-final

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The seventh round of Pakistan Cup 2023-24, played at four venues across Rawalpindi, AJK and Abbottabad, saw wins for Karachi Whites, Multan, FATA and Faisalabad.

Despite losing their game against FATA today, Peshawar, with 11 points, topped the table and have thus qualified for the semi-finals of the Pakistan Cup along with Karachi Whites, Multan and FATA.

Rawalpindi, despite equaling FATA’s 8 points, failed to qualify owing to their inferior NRR.

The first semi-final will be played between Peshawar and FATA on 16 November while the second semi-final will be held between Karachi Whites and Multan on 17 November.

The Pakistan Cup 2023 final will be played on 19 November. All three games will be played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Faisalabad posted 293-8 in 45 overs after choosing to bat first against Lahore Whites at Pindi Cricket Stadium. Mohammad Faizan (70, 63b, 8x4s, 3x6s) and Muhammad Irfan Khan (70, 68b, 6x4s, 2x6s) were the prominent run-getters for the side.

Shehzad Akhtar (36, 58b, 5x4s) and Mohammad Saleem (35, 33b, 2x4s, 1×6) also chipped in with crucial runs.

Right-arm pacer Aamer Jamal took three wickets and Lahore Whites skipper Saad Naseem returned with two wickets.

Lahore Whites had an abysmal start to the chase, with Abid Ali and Umar Akmal dismissed for ducks and Mohammad Akhlaq getting out for just one run. Syed Zain-ul-Hasnain (10, 23b, 1×4) was caught behind soon after.

Tayyab Tahir (46, 52b, 7x4s) and Saad (41, 44b, 4x4s, 2x6s) stitched together a valiant partnership of 75 runs, however, their efforts remained insufficient as the side was dismissed for 191 in 43.4 overs.

Fighting knocks by Ahmed Daniyal (38, 42b, 1×4, 2x6s) and Fahad Munir (27, 72b, 1×4) went in vain.

Khurram Shahzad bagged his second consecutive four-fer. Ali Asfand and Abubakar Khan accounted for two wickets each.

Rawalpindi got to 242-9 in the allotted 45 overs after being put into bat first by Multan at Shoaib Akhtar Cricket Stadium.

Haider Ali hit an unbeaten half-century (78 not out, 70b, 2x4s, 5x6s) and was the top performer with the bat for his team. Opening batter Abdul Faseeh added a run-a-ball 68 (8x4s, 1×6) to the total.

His fellow opener Rehman Khan chipped in with 33 from 42, including four boundaries and a six.

Leg-spinner Zahid Mehmood bagged three wickets. Right-arm pacer Mohammad Imran and Multan captain Sharoon Siraj got two wickets apiece.

Sharjeel Khan’s century (106, 84b, 10x4s, 7x6s) helped Multan turn the chase completely in their favour. Sharoon (63 not out, 68b, 3x4s, 2x6s) also hit an unbeaten half-century to help the side get over the line in 43.2 overs with three wickets to spare.

All Rawalpindi bowlers returned with wickets; Kashif Ali and Farhan Shafiq, with two wickets each, were the most successful of the lot.

FATA banked on their decision to field first and bowled out Peshawar for 112 in 33 overs at Abbottabad Cricket Stadium.

Left-arm pacer Usman Khan Shinwari set the seventh round of Pakistan Cup 2023 ablaze as he registered the fourth five-wicket haul of his List A career, giving only 14 runs in return.

Right-arm fast bowler Irfanullah Shah and left-arm spinner Asif Afridi claimed two wickets each.

Niaz Khan (40, 54b, 4x4s, 1×6), who was the ninth batter in, produced a fighting knock for Peshawar. The second-best score of the innings came from Sajid Khan’s bat, hitting 29 from 32, including three fours and a six.

On the back of a half-century by Samiullah Jnr (64, 74b, 8x4s, 1×6), FATA cruised to the target of 113 in 25.3 overs, losing only two wickets in the process. Salman Khan Jnr (32 not out, 69b, 2x4s) was the other contributor with the bat.

Mohammad Ilyas and Sajid Khan got a wicket each.

In the rain-delayed Pakistan Cup match, Lahore Blues scored 197-9 in the stipulated 40 overs, after being asked to bat first by Karachi Whites at Mirpur Cricket Stadium.

Hussain Talat hit a half-century (51, 60b, 2x2s, 2x6s) after the top four failed to get going. Cameos by Kashif Bhatti (35 not out, 22b, 4x4s, 2x6s) and Hunain Shah (24, 23b, 3x6s) took the side to a fighting total.

Left-arm spinner Danish Aziz, and fast bowlers Mir Hamza and Sohail Khan claimed two wickets each.

Although Shan Masood fell one short of his century but his fiery knock of 99 off 68 balls featuring 11 fours and two sixes ensured that Karachi Whites reach the target with ease.

They scored 201-4 in 28.4 overs, winning the game comprehensively. Danish (32 not out, 52b, 2x4s, 1×6) was the second-highest scorer for the side.

Left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti claimed two wickets while right-arm pacer Hunain Shah and leg-spinner Usman Qadir got a wicket each.

READ: Morne Morkel steps down as Pakistan bowling coach

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