ISLAMABAD - Rawalpindi Rams hopes of securing a place in the quarterfinals suffered a huge blow as they were narrowly beaten by Multan Tigers in the Faysal Bank T20 Regional Tournament 2014 Group-B match played here at Pindi Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Wicket keeper Jamal Anwar almost pulled off a sensational victory for the Rams, but his 24 runs innings fell just two-run short from registering a highly unlikely victory. Now Rawalpindi faced a must win match against Karachi Zebras to stay in the event.

Sohail Tanvir won the toss and opted to bowl first which a very costly decision at the end as Multan Tigers posted massive 183-5 on the board. Kashif Naveed made 44, Zian Abbas 34 and Sohaib Maqsood 32. Tanivr took 2 for 33 and Akhtar Ayub 1 for 40 as poor fielding and dropped catches cost Rawalpindi dearly. Rawalpindi started their runs chase in worst possible fashion as both openers Naved Malik and Awais Zia were removed in the first two overs. Baber Naeem showed a bit resistance scoring 42 off 32 balls while Jamal remained unbeaten at 24 off 13. Kashif took 3 for 22 while M Irfan, Zulfiqar Baber and Rahat Ali clinched a wicket apiece. Kashif was named man of the match.

Earlier, in the first game played at Pindi Stadium, Peshawar Panthers outplayed Lahore Eagles by seven wickets to send Lahore second string packing from the event. Peshawar skipper won the toss and opted to field first and reduced Lahore to a meager 104-9 in allotted overs. Abid Ali top scored with 24 while M Khalil and Kamran Akmal made 22 and 21 runs, respectively. Imran Khan rattled Lahore batting grabbing 3 for 16 while Azizullah also chipped in with 2 for 27. Peshawar achieved the required target in 15.3 overs losing 3 wickets in the process. Adil Amin made unbeaten 40 off 25 deliveries while M Fayyaz also remained unbeaten at 35. Junaid Zia took 2 for 19. Imran Khan and Adil Amin were jointly declared men of the match.

At Diamond ground, Sialkot Stallions hammered Quetta Bears by 73 runs. Sialkot skipper Shoaib Malik won the toss and decided to bat first. Sialkot managed to post 154-8. Haris Sohail made stylish 66 off 44 balls while Shakeel Ansar also contributed valuable 33. Fareed-ud-din captured 4 for 11. Chasing 155 runs for victory, Quetta restricted to 82-9. Nazar Hussain made unbeaten 26. Raza Hasan and Hasan Ali claimed 3 wickets each conceding 17 and 20 runs, respectively while Abdul Rehman finished with 2 for 8.

At National ground, thanks to a majestic unbeaten 97 by Test discarded Yasir Hameed and unbeaten 71 from veteran Younus Khan, Abbottabad Falcons thrashed Bhawalpur Stags by 77 runs. Abbottabad made the highest total of the event so far posting 200-1 wicket. Yasir’s swashbuckling 97 come in only 68 deliveries, studded with 3 fours and 5 out of the park sixes while Younus’ 71 come in 47 deliveries including 6 fours and 2 sixes. Bahawalpur could managed to score 123-8 wickets, Ansar Javed 32, Faisal Mubashir 29 and Imran Ullah 23 were the main scorers. Khalid Usman took 3 for 17 while Junaid Khan grabbed 2 for 20. Yasir was declared player of the match.