Abbottabad and Islamabad kicked off the Super Four stage of the Hanif Mohammad Cup at two venues across Faisalabad with victories over AJK and Hyderabad respectively. Abbottabad spinners caused troubles for the AJK batters while Sarmad Bhatti’s unbeaten century drove Islamabad’s dominance over Hyderabad.

AJK v Abbottabad at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad

Abbottabad defeated AJK by six wickets in the first round of the Super Four Stage of the Hanif Mohammad Cup. AJK were bundled out for 98, setting a target of 99 that Abbottabad were able to chase inside 20 overs.

Abbottabad openers Anees Azam and Mohammad Arif scored 34 off 50 and 33 off 44 respectively. Following the openers’ dismissals, Imran Khan was the next batter out as he was bowled by Naveed Malik after making two off seven balls. Khayam Khan (13 not out) and Ahmad Khan (one not out) led their side to victory by chasing AJK’s target in the 20th over. Naveed took all the four Abbottabad wickets to fall.

Earlier, AJK’s batting collapsed right from the start with the fall of opener Mohammad Sadiq’s wicket. Awais Akram managed to pull off 18 off 33 before being bowled by Mansoor Ali. The performance of AJK batters was generally lackluster. Usman Maroof was ducked at 10 balls, Javed Khan made a meager 11 off 21 before losing his wicket to Yasir Shah. Mohammad Haider scored the highest runs for AJK making 38 not out off 53 balls. Khalid Usman registered four wickets, while fellow spinners Mansoor Ali and Yasir Shah took three wickets each.

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Islamabad v Hyderabad at Bohranwali Ground, Faisalabad

Islamabad beat Hyderabad by 110 runs posting an impressive 309-4 in their 45 overs. Hyderabad, tasked with chasing the mammoth target, stumbled in their reply.

Hyderabad openers Zain-ul-Abdin and Sher Afzal lost their wickets early in the innings after making six off 14 and 17 off 30 respectively. Rizwan Mehmood was able to score a solid 79 off 84 featuring seven boundaries and one six before conceding his wicket to Azan Tariq. Islamabad leg-spinner Farmanullah Khan claimed a total of three scalps including that of Hyderabad skipper Daniyal Hussain Rajput (33, 45b, 2x4s). Hyderabad’s lower-order batters failed to make an impact on the game with the whole team out for 199 inside 40 overs.

Earlier, Islamabad’s Sarmad Bhatti and Faizan Riaz powered their side beyond the 300 mark scoring 100 not out off 82 deliveries and 75 from 56 balls respectively. Islamabad openers Sudais Ulfat and Hassan Nawaz managed to make 36 (46) and 21 (38) respectively. Rohail Nazar fell two runs short of a half-century and ended his run at 48 off 45. Sarmad Bhatti and Azan Tariq played till the last over, finished the innings well for Islamabad.

Scores in brief:

Abbottabad beat AJK by six wickets

AJK 98 all out, 31.4 overs (Mohammad Haider 38 not out; Khalid Usman 4-9, Yasir Shah 3-21, Mansoor Ali 3-27)

Abbottabad 99-4, 19.5 overs (Anees Azam 34, Mohammad Arif 33; Naveed Malik 4-5)

Islamabad beat Hyderabad by 110 runs

Islamabad 309-4, 45 overs (Sarmad Bhatti 100 not out, Faizan Riaz 75, Rohail Nazir 48, Sudais Ulfat 36; Jawad Ali 2-47, Majid Asghar 1-56)

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Hyderabad 199 all out, 39.3 overs (Rizwan Mehmood 79, Daniyal Hussain Rajput 33; Umair Afridi 3-29, Farmanullah Khan 3-33)