HBL and The Rest ride high on leads
Abdur Rehman and Sarmad Anwar shared nine wickets among them to put Habib Bank Limited (HBL) in the driver's seat against Sialkot at the National Stadium. Resuming on 368 for 8, HBL's last two wickets yielded 53 runs, before the two bowlers went on the rampage. If Sarmad's pace was too hot to handle for the top order, the rest fared no better against the left-arm spin of Rehman. Wickets fell at regular intervals with Sarmad accounting four of the top six batsmen. No. 8 Nayyer Abbas fought bravely for Sialkot with a stroke-filled 53, but was among Rehman's five victims. Sialkot were bowled out for 243 in the 66th over, as the HBL openers negotiated the two remaining overs in the day to finish on 5 for no loss.
Twin centuries from Umair Khan and Aamer Sajjad were the highlights of The Rest's dominance with the bat against Karachi Blues at the Niaz Stadium. Both openers continued strongly from the overnight score of 91, with Umair Khan looking in good touch. Abid Ali departed for 59, but Umair's century took them past Karachi's first-innings total of 198. He had Saeed Anwar jnr (72) for company, but even after he fell for 115, the baton was picked up by Sajjad. Together with Saeed Anwar, Sajjad put on 104 for the third wicket. With The Rest sitting pretty at 445 for 4, and Sajjad unbeaten on 113, things look pretty dismal for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy winners.