KARACHI

Sialkot Stallions strolled to their third straight win of the competition, after they thumped Quetta Bears by 44 runs. Having been inserted, the Stallions openers Mukhtar Ahmed (32) and Mansoor Amjad (22) began brightly by racing to 50 in 5.4 overs. Mukhtar and Mansoor fell within three overs of each other, briefly thwarting Stallions' momentum, but Haris Sohail and Ali Khan counterattacked by adding 79 for the fourth wicket from just 39 deliveries.

Ali Khan, whose 19-ball 48 powered Stallions' chase against Larkana Bulls on Friday, blitzed 44 off 23 balls with one four and four sixes. He was dismissed off the last ball of the innings, but Haris remained unbeaten on 52, as Stallions finished with 171 for 4.

Bears never really got going in their chase, and slumped to 84 for 7 inside 14 overs. Zubair Ahmed and Taimur Khan both made starts, but fell in the thirties. Nazar Hussain hit 29 off 25 at No. 9 but by then it was too late and Bears could muster only 127 for 7 from their 20 overs. Mukhtar capped off a fine all-round display by claiming 3 for 16 to win the Man-of-the-Match award.

Karachi Dolphins also maintained their winning start to the season, as their opener Rameez Raja blasted an unbeaten 70 off just 49 deliveries to drive his team to a nine-wicket victory against Hyderabad Hawks. Dolphins and Stallions are now level on top of Group A with six points each, but Dolphins' superior net run-rate means they are rooted firmly in first place.

Hawks, choosing to bat, could not gather any momentum in their innings as they lost wickets right from the off. While several of their middle-order batsmen made starts, none could produce a fifty, as tight bowling from Dolphins restricted Hawks to just 119 for 8. The seamers Anwar Ali and Abdul Ameer both took two wickets and went at under five an over, while Shahid Afridi, Pakistan's new T20 captain, chipped in with the dismissal of Faisal Athar. Dolphins lost Shahzaib Hasan for 10 in the sixth over, but they were hardly threatened chasing a paltry total.

Rameez and Asad Shafiq put up an unbroken stand of 81 from just 67 balls, as Dolphins were home with almost four overs to spare. Rameez slammed 10 fours and a six during his knock, while Shafiq remained unbeaten on 38, with three fours.