RAWALPINDI - Sialkot beat Rawalpindi by 19 runs in the Cool & Cool Present Haier Mobile T20 Cup 2015 match here at Pindi Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

Requiring 177 runs for victory, Rawalpindi could score 157-7. The defeat left Pindi on the brink of elimination from the semifinal race and would require a miracle and favorable results from other teams, especially from Multan to beat Sialkot and then they had to beat Hyderabad by huge margin. Multan had already qualified for the semifinals.

Rawalpindi started run-chase in worst possible fashion, as Awais Zia once again failed to deliver, while all the batsmen just gifted their wickets during run chase. Umar Amin was top scorer with 34-ball 39 while Sohail Tanvir played captain’s innings and hit some lusty blows to score 37, which, in the end, were not enough to take Pindi home. Nasir Jamshed made 16-ball 28. Yasim Murtaza, who was promoted in the batting order in hope of hitting some lusty blows, could score 24. Bilal Asif, Bilawal Bhatti and Hasan Ali took two wickets each. Shoaib Malik was named player of the match. DCO Rawalpindi Sajid Zafar Dal was the chief guest and gave away man of the match award.

Earlier, Shoaib Malik won the toss and opted to bat first, the decision paid off as Sialkot managed to post 176-4. Haris Sohail scored 49, hitting 3 fours and 1 six while Shoaib Malik added 48.

It was a sold out crowd for the second day in running, in the day matches, crowd was very thin, but as soon as do or die match between the hosts Rawalpindi and Sialkot started, there was not a single seat empty, and the stadium was buzzing with lot of noise, as fans were cheering and supporting both teams with open heart.

Once again the PCB security staff tried their level best to sabotage smooth working as they misbehaved and even thrashed 92 News sports reporter Mohsin Ijaz, tore his shirt and tried to drag him out of the stadium. RISJA president along with members rushed to the spot and took up the issue with PCB governing body member Shakil Sheikh and Intikhab Alam. PCB security officer Younis Butt was also called and Pindi Stadium manager Nisar Khan also reached the spot. After tense negotiations, the matter was finally resolved amicably as the culprit tendered unconditional apology. The RISJA president had warned no such repeat would be tolerated in future. “We are not here to get bashing, if things continue in same fashion, we will be left with no other option but to boycott covering the event and also stage forceful demonstration.”

Earlier, Multan Region and Karachi Blues qualified for the Haier Q8 National Twenty20 Cup semi-finals here on Saturday. In the first match of the event played at Pindi Stadium, Multan Region defeated Karachi Whites by three runs. Test-discarded Kamran Akmal hammered 105 runs to help Musltan post 185-4 on the board in the allotted overs. Kamran hit 12 fours and 4 towering sixes to score 105. Naveed contributed 32 and Sohaib Maqsood 26 runs.

Karachi Whites team was always front-runner to win the match as they required 11 runs in the last over with Shahryar Ghani still at the crease and needed 7 runs in 4 balls. But they simply blew it away with sheer madness and lost the match by 3 runs. Shahryar remained unbeaten at 64 while Rameez Raja added 46 and skipper Faisal Iqbal 30. With that loss, Karachi Whites were also out of semifinal race. Kamran Akmal was handed over man-of-the-match award.

In the second match played at Pindi Stadium, Islamabad finally managed to register victory, as they defeated Misbah-led Faisalabad by 8 wickets. The defeat also ousted Faisalabad from semi-finals race. Faisalabad put on 158-8. Khurram Shahzad scored 47 while Raheel added 41 and Misbah 31 runs. Munir-ur-Rehman Tanzil picked up 2-19 while Shahzad Azam Rana got 2-33. Islamabad Region replied well and chased the target for the loss of only 2 wickets. Player of the match Afaq Raheem hit unbeaten 49-ball 70, while Babar Azam contributed 38 and Shan Masood 30. Raheel Ameer and Imran Khalid got one wickets apiece. In the first match played at Diamond Cricket Ground Islamabad, Lahore Region was thrown out of the event, after being handed third defeat in a row. This time they tasted defeat at the hands of Shahid Afridi-led Karachi Region Blues, who with this win, booked a berth in the semi-finals of the event.

Afridi won the toss and opted to field first on batting pitch. Lahore Region hammered 179-7 in the allotted overs with in-form Umar Akmal scoring 36-ball 52. Ahmed Shahzad added 40, Saad Nasim 35 and Azhar Ali 20 runs but they couldn’t save their team to face defeat. Roman Raees took 3 for 26, while Afridi and Ameer took two wickets each.

Karachi Blues reached home safely in 17.4 overs. Khurram Manzoor was hero of Karachi’s innings as batted brilliantly to gather stylish 81 with the help of 16 fours. Shahzaib Hasan assisted him well and scored 45 and Asad Shafiq unbeaten 36. Khurram Manzoor was adjudged as player of the match.

In the second match played at the same venue, Abbottabad Region thumped Peshawar Region by 6 wickets in high-scoring match. Younus Khan won the toss and invited Peshawar to bat first. Peshawar batted superbly and posted 195-4 on the board in the allotted overs. In-form Iftikhar Ahmed hit unbeaten 90 runs while Adil Amin added 33 and M Rizwan 30. Junaid Khan picked up 2-23. Abbottabad Region achieved the target in on the third ball of the last over of the innings. Fakhar Zaman hit unbeaten 100 while Sohail made 30 and Yasir Hameed 29. Fakhar Zaman was named man of the match award.

It was overwhelming crowd at Diamond ground in the first match as Boom Boom mania hit federal capital. Hundreds of thousands of Afridi fans thronged to the ground to witness Boom Boom blowing with his bat. The entire area was cheering for Afridi with clapping, dancing and raising slogans in his favor. It was very hard to control emotional and charged-up crowd, but Diamond admin did a fantastic job of dispersing them, who invaded pitch. Arrangements made by Islamabad Region must be applauded, as for the very first time, respectable size of journalists including RISJA chairman Abdul Mohi Shah and president also remained right throughout the first match and major portion of second match as well.