Lahore Lions and Faisalabad Wolves play during the Faysal Bank Super-8 National Twenty20. -Photo by APP

RAWALPINDI: Holders Rawalpindi Rams were knocked out of the 2nd Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup after crashing to a 34-run defeat against Lahore Eagles at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday night.

Despite being egged on by a strong 17,000 crowd, the Rams left their home fans depressed for the second time in three nights — after Karachi Dolphins won the Group ‘B’ tie by 39 runs on late on Monday — when they botched up a 159-run chase; capitulating to 134 all out in the 18th over. In fact, the home side were also victims of a couple of umpiring errors.

Hard-hitting opener Naved Malik was extremely unlucky. He was initially declared caught behind off a slanting delivery from left-arm seamer Mohammad Khalil in the opening over. Umpire Khalid Mahmood later changed the verdict to LBW. On both counts, as TV replays confirmed, the official got it horribly wrong.

Hammad Azam, the Pakistan all-rounder, was shell-shocked when he was belatedly given caught at the wicket off Emmad Ali, the other left-arm fast bowler.

Former international Junaid Zia, reported by umpires in the past on several occasions for suspect bowling action, evidently jerked his wrist to dismiss Jamal Anwar. Junaid, however, had a great time with three wickets as well as three catches. Emmad and spinner Mustafa Iqbal bagged three wickets apiece.

Awais Zia, the latest Pakistan T20 opener, fought a forlorn battle from one end with robust 55 from 77 deliveries (six fours and two sixes) as wickets tumbled regularly before he was eighth out. To complete the Rams’ misery, captain Sohail Tanvir was fined his full match fee for making unsavoury comments on the umpiring.

Earlier after winning the toss, Taufiq Umar played a skipper’s innings with a 57-ball 76 (seven fours and two sixes) to enable the Eagles accumulate 158 in their 20 overs. Imran Farhat (33 off 23 balls, five boundaries) was the only other batsman to reach double figures in a partnership of 64 with Taufiq who was named the Man-of-the-Match.

The result kept alive the Eagles’ hopes of reaching the semi-finals, provided they win against the Dolphins on Friday. — Sports Reporter

Scoreboard

LAHORE EAGLES: Taufiq Umar run out    76 Humayun Farhat c Nawaz b Sohail    5 Imran Farhat lbw b Awais    33 Azhar Ali c Awais b Samiullah    9 Ali Azmat c Awais b Hammad    9 Muzaffar Mahboob lbw b Yasir    0 Junaid Zia b Sohail    2 Adnan Akmal not out    3 Mohammad Khalil run out    0 Emmad Ali c Hammad b Sohail    0 Mustafa Iqbal run out    0 EXTRAS (B-2, LB-10, W-7, NB-2)    21 TOTAL (all out, 20 overs)    158 FALL OF WKTS: 1-17, 2-81, 3-101, 4-125, 5-132, 6-141, 7-155, 8-156, 9-156. BOWLING: Sohail Tanvir 4-0-28-3 (3w); Yasir Arafat 4-0-27-1 (1nb); Hammad Azam 3-0-29-1; Awais Zia 4-0-26-1 (2w); Yasim Murtaza 2-0-17-0; Samillah 3-0-19-1 (1w). RAWALPINDI RAMS: Naved Malik lbw b Khalil    0 Awais Zia c Junaid b Mustafa    55 Tahir Mughal c Taufiq b Emmad    0 Jamal Anwar b Junaid    14 Umar Amin c and b Junaid    0 Mohammad Nawaz c Imran b Junaid    10 Hammad Azam c Adnan b Emmad    4 Sohail Tanvir b Emmad    11 Yasir Arafat c Junaid b Mustafa    3 Yasim Murtaza c Humayun b Mustafa    12 Samiullah not out    2 EXTRAS (B-1, LB-3, W-7, NB-2)    13 TOTAL (all out, 17.5 overs)    124 FALL OF WKTS: 1-1, 2-2, 3-18, 4-18, 5-57, 6-70, 7-103, 8-104, 9-121. BOWLING: Mohammad Khalil 3-0-21-1 (2w); Emmad Ali 4-0-28-3; Junaid Zia 4-0-14-3 (3w); Taufiq Umar 4-0-33-0 (1w); Mustafa Iqbal 3-0-24-3 (1nb, 1w). RESULT: Lahore Eagles won by 34 runs. UMPIRES: Khalid Mahmood Sr and Islam Khan. TV UMPIRE: Ghaffar Kazmi. MATCH REFEREE: Arshad Pervez. MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Taufiq Umar.

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