ISLAMABAD  - Umer Amin led from the front as Rawalpindi Rams gave a cricketing lesson to minnows Fata in the Faysal Bank T/20 Regional Cup Group B match played here at Pindi Cricket Stadium Saturday.

Fata skipper Riaz Afridi won the toss and put Rawalpindi Rams to bat first. His decision immediately paid dividend, as Rawalpindi lost opener Awais Zia without opening his account. Rawalpindi were in all sorts of bother as they lost four wickets with just 27 runs on the board in 4.1 overs. Amin was leading the side in the absence of regular skipper Sohail Tanveer who skipped the inaugural match because of his wedding, played the captains knock, hitting all the Fata bowlers at will. Amin made 82 with the help of five towering sixes and five boundaries in just 47 deliveries to help Rawalpindi post 180-5, the highest score of the tournament so far. M Nawaz remained unbeaten at 38 in as many balls while Hammad Azam also remained unbeaten at 27 consuming 14 deliveries.

Chasing 181, Fata scored 112-8 thus losing the encounter by 68 runs. Riaz fought lone battle as he remained unbeaten at 46 off 24 deliveries his career best T20 innings although he was very lucky as he got three lives due to Rawalpindi’s sloppy catching. Asif Ali remained unbeaten at 17. Akhtar Ayub took 3 for 23 while Hammad Azam 2 for 10 and Amin 1 for 24. Amin was declared man of the match.

In the first match played at Pindi Cricket Stadium, Lahore Lions thrashed sorry Bahawalpur Stags by eight wickets. Lahore skipper M Hafeez won the toss and opted to field first. Bahawalpur got off to flying start and posted 97 runs in first 10 overs against strong Lahore bowling but they lost the momentum in the latter half of the innings and were all out for 142 in 20 overs. Hamid Ali top scored with 46 off 31 ball while Imran Ullah also scored 37 off 30 balls. Test discarded Aizaz Cheema was the pick of the Lahore bowlers with 3-33 while Wahab Riaz and Saad Nasim took two wickets each giving away 10 and 26 runs, respectively.

Lahore lose their first wicket very cheaply as Nasir Jamshed was caught at short mid-off. Hafeez led from the front and hammered all the Bahawalpur bowlers at will scoring match-winning unbeaten 73 runs off 46 deliveries hitting 10 boundaries and a six. Ahmed Shahzad also batted well for his 38-ball 40, studded with 4 fours as Lahore achieved the target in 18.5 overs losing just two wickets. Hafeez was named man of the match for his superb knock.

AT Diamond Ground, Islamabad become the first team to reach quarterfinals stage of the event as they inflicted a huge 46 runs defeat upon Peshawar, thanks mainly to a brilliant hat trick by Imad Wasim, very first of the tournament so far. Peshawar skipper won the toss and invited Islamabad to bat first. Islamabad could only manage to post a modest score of 134-6. Baber Azam made stylish 55 off 52 balls. Sarwar Khan made 33 in 36. Zohaib Khan took 2 for 21. Chasing 135, Peshawar crashed out for 88 in 15.4 overs. Iftikhar and Azam Khan made 18 runs each. Imad rattled Peshawar batting grabbing 3-12 while Zohaib Ahmed and Junaid Nadir took 3 wickets each conceding 15 and 21 runs respectively. Imad was declared man of the match, his second in as many matches.

AT National ground, Karachi Dolphins had to face stiff resistance from Quetta Bears before winning by 12 runs. Quetta won the toss and opted to field first. Karachi, despite having he services of some quality national team players, could only manage to post 150-5. Khurrum Manzoor top scored with 38 off 46 balls while Sarfraz Ahmed made 31 off 20 balls. Ghulam Muhammad took 2 for 22. Quetta batted gallantly but fell short by just 12 runs as they were reduced to 138-9. Bismillah Khan made 46 off 39 deliveries. Babar Rehman and Azam Hussain got 2 wickets each conceding 17 and 31 runs respectively. Sarfraz Ahmed was named man of the match.

At Marghazar ground, new boys Larkana Bulls defeated Hyderabad Hawks by four wickets. After putting into bat, Hyderabad made 156-5. Aqeel Anjum made 43 off 47 balls while Ahsan Ather scored 35. Zahid Mehmood took 3 for 13. Larkana achieved the target in 19.4 overs losing 6 wickets in the process. Ahsan Ali made 43 in only 26 balls hitting 3 fours and as many sixes. M Urus made unbeaten 41 off 29 balls. Nauman Ali took 2 for 31. Urus was named player of the match.