Pentangular Cup, 2nd round, 3rd day November 2, 2008

Shoaib and Tanvir lead Federal Areas fightback

Cricinfo staff

Federal Areas 213 and 127 for 4 (Talha 3-41) need another 111 runs to beat Punjab 306 and 144 (Shoaib 4-14, Tanvir 3-27, Ifthikar 3-41)

Shoaib Akhtar took four wickets to restrict Punjab to 144 in their second innings © Getty Images

Federal Areas' formidable fast bowling, led by Shoaib Akhtar, sparked a dramatic Punjab collapse to leave the match evenly poised going into the fourth day.

Punjab were on top after overnight batsmen, Salman Butt and Umar Akmal, pushed the score to 78 for 1, an overall lead of 171. Ifthikar Anjum then had Butt caught behind but Punjab were still in control after Akmal guided them to 102 for 2. Things swiftly went downhill for them as Shoaib and Sohail Tanvir took six wickets for 21 runs before Ifthikar cleaned up the tail. Wahab Riaz (19*) was the only one of Punjab's last eight batsmen to make more than 6. Shoaib finished with 10-7-14-4 while Tanvir took 3-27 to leave Federal Areas chasing 238 for a come-from-behind victory.

Their openers gave the chase a solid start, putting on 70, and Federal Areas had moved to 124 for 2 before Mohammad Talha struck a double-blow to leave them 111 runs away from the target with six wickets in hand.

Sind 126 and 364 for 8 (Afridi 81, Latif 78, Alam 68, Sarfraz 57, Hussain 5-73) lead Baluchistan 362 by 128 runs

Sind's batsmen showed a lot more resolve in their second innings compared to the first and clawed their way back into the match against Baluchistan.

Three contrasting half-centuries averted the possibility of an innings defeat after fast bowler Kamran Hussain had Sind in trouble at 50 for 3, still trailing by 188 runs. Fawad Alam, who had an outstanding tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya recently, laboured to 68, opener Khalid Latif made a cavalier 78 and captain Shahid Afridi hammered a couple of sixes in his typically belligerent 81.

Sarfraz Ahmed, a handy batsman to come in at No. 8 with a first-class average of 44.96, continued Sind's resistance with a brisk 57 to help his side finish with a 128-run lead and two wickets in hand. Hussain was the most effective of the Baluchistan bowlers, picking up five wickets to go with the three he took in the first innings.