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December 14, 2007
Riding on a 77-run eight-wicket partnership, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) took a 26-run first-innings lead over Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) at the Asghar Ali Shah Stadium. Resuming on 63 for 3, after WAPDA had been dismissed for 200, SSGC lost the next three wickets for the addition of 24 runs as Sarfraz Ahmed (6 for 48) caused havoc. A 93-run partnership between Ahmed Zeeshan (51) and Haaris Ayaz (64) first got SSGC closer to the 200-mark and then, with assistance from the tail, allowed them to take the slender lead. By close , WAPDA had scored 43 for 2 in their second-innings - a lead of 17 - with Sohail Khan, after having taken seven wickets in the first-innings, adding two more to his tally that now stands at 58.
Table-leaders Habib Bank Limited (HBL) took a big leap towards confirming their place in the final after making a strong 195 for 3 in reply to the 297 National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) had earlier scored at the NBP Sports Complex. All of HBL's batsmen contributed and with Aftab Alam unbeaten on 55, HBL are on course for earning a big first-innings lead. Earlier, resuming at their overnight 207 for 6, NBP added 90 runs before Mohammad Aslam cleaned up the tail with a five-wicket haul. Qaiser Abbas, unbeaten on 54 overnight, took his score to 74 off 186 deliveries before being dismissed.
Sialkot recovered well to restrict Lahore Ravi to 165 in their first-innings, facing a deficit of only 77 runs, before putting on a much-improved batting performance to go at close on 211 for 5 at the Lahore City Cricket Association (LCCA) Ground. Bundled out for 88 in their first innings, Sialkot pace trio did well to limit the damage and shared all 10 wickets among themselves. Mohammad Ali was the pick of the bowlers with 5 for 38 and it was left for Lahore's No. 9 Waqas Ahmed (45 off 23) to guide his team to respectability. Sialkot, in their second innings, owed much to an unbeaten 81 by Ayub Dogar and now have an overall lead of 134.
At the Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan first did well to restrict Hyderabad to 335 in their first-innings and then score 229 for 4 in reply by close. Hyderabad had resumed on 260 for 4 and looked set for a huge score before Rahat Ali (4 for 35) sparked a collapse that saw them lose their last five wickets for the addition of only one run. Usman Tariq was Multan's hero with the bat as he scored an unbeaten 118 to take his side within reach of a first-innings lead.
Centuries by Asif Iqbal and Zahoor Elahi allowed Pakistan Customs to compile 338 runs against Karachi Whites at the National Stadium. In reply, Karachi managed to reach 154 for 4 at close, still 184 runs in deficit. Iqbal scored his second first-class century and his highest individual score after batting for over five hours and hitting 13 fours. With Elahi, he added 159 runs for the fourth wicket. For Karachi, Khalid Latif continued his impressive form with the bat and scored 42 while Asim Kamal is still unbeaten on 47.
Mohammad Hafeez hit a century to help Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) take a first-innings lead of 135 runs over Lahore Shalimar at the Gaddafi Stadium. Hafeez shared a 164-run fourth-wicket partnership with Umar Akmal (65). Later, Khurram Shahzad scored 64 before Mohammad Naved rounded things off for Lahore with a six-wicket haul. By close, Lahore had scored 52 for 3, requiring another 83 to make SNGPL bat again, with Asad Ali taking two of those wickets.
After having bowled out Karachi Blues for 188, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) finished day two on 251 for 3 at the United Bank Limited Sports Complex. The highlight of the day for ZTBL was an unbeaten 107 by Afaq Rahim, their 22-year-old opener. Adnan Raza (62) added 103 for the third-wicket as ZTBL crossed the 200-mark and ended the day in a commanding position.
At the Diamond Club Ground, Rauf Akbar finished with figures of 6 for 66 as Quetta could only add a solitary run to their overnight score before being dismissed for 244 against Islamabad. However, its bowlers did well to restrict the home side to 229 for 7 in reply with Imad Wasim, the Pakistan Under-19 captain, making a valuable 41 in a 101-run sixth-wicket partnership with Ameer Khan (58*).
Sajjad Ahmed's unbeaten 83 allowed Peshawar to reach a competitive 256 after resuming on 134 for 6 overnight at Arbab Niaz Stadium. Ahmed added 144 with the last four batsmen to allow respectability to his side's total before Rawalpindi replied strongly with 140 for 3 by close. Awais Zia (27*) and Naved Ashraf (34*) have put on 57 for the fourth wicket and will look to carry on the good work into the third day.
After the first day's play at Abbottabad Cricket Stadium was washed out , both Abbottabad and Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) forfeited their first-innings in order to procure a result. However, only 13.5 overs were possible on the second day, in which KRL, after having been put in, reached 26 for no loss.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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