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January 28, 2009
Younis Khan, overnight on 50, scored a vital 299-ball 99 as Habib Bank Limited secured a five-run first-innings lead at the Gaddafi Stadium against Lahore Shalimar. Younis scored 49 of HBL's 66 runs - they took 32.4 overs - and helped them from 191 for 8 to 257 after overnight partner Sajid Shah was run out. For Lahore, Mohammad Naved added two more wickets to finish with 7 for 129. After gaining the first-innings lead, the HBL bowlers ripped through the Lahore line-up, bundling them out for 109. Danish Kaneria, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, bamboozled the tail, picking Nos 8, 9 and 10 in his 3.3 overs after the others took care of the top and middle. All six bowlers used by Younis, including himself, took a wicket, with two each for Shahid Afridi - who pouched three catches too - and Fahad Masood. Only four batsmen made it to double figures for Lahore, with Zulqarnain Haider once again top scoring with 32. Chasing 105, HBL's openers put on 20 in 4.5 overs before close.
Left-arm medium-pacer Samiullah Khan ran through the lower order to help defending champions Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited gain a 56-run first-innings lead against Pakistan Customs in Gujranwala. Resuming on 120 for 6, Pakistan Customs were bowled out for 140. Samiullah took three of the wickets, and Imran Ali the other as both finished the innings with four-wicket hauls. The two were not done for the day, adding an unbroken 39 runs to take SNGPL to 224 for 8, a lead of 280, at stumps. The visitors had a torrid start to their second innings: both openers fell for ducks. Azhar Shafiq, who top scored with 98 not out in the first innings, steadied the innings, making 50, while captain Misbah-ul-Haq chipped in with 40. No. 8 Tauqeer Hussain also provided resistance with his 31.
Allrounder Yasir Arafat fell one short of the 'Perfect Ten' in Rawalpindi, taking 9 for 35 as Khan Research Laboratories' bowled out Sui Southern Gas Corporation for 79. Arafat had taken all seven SSGC wickets on the first day - there was no play on the second - but his new-ball partner Sohail Tanvir scalped one on the third day as SSGC added 20 to their overnight score. With a first-innings lead of 112, KRL hurried to make up for the lost day, putting on 229 in 52.1 overs in their second innings. KRL captain Mohammad Wasim, the former international, made a run-a-ball 101 not out to help his team, who declared with seven wickets down, set SSGC a target of 342. Arafat struck a blow as SSGC crawled to 31 in 17.4 overs till stumps.
After two days of no play in Sialkot, things were marginally better on the third, with 23 overs being bowled. Put in, Water and Power Development Authority scored 89 for 2 against Pakistan International Airlines, with opener Adil Nisar making an unbeaten 44.
Group BAn unbeaten 30 from Imad Wasim, who captained Pakistan's Under-19 squad at the World Cup in Malaysia last year, and scores of 25 from Fayyaz Ahmed and 21 from Mohammad Kashif helped Islamabad take a seven-run first-innings lead against Faisalabad at the Iqbal Stadium. Resuming on 61 for 4, Islamabad managed 158 despite left-arm spinner Saadat Munir's 6 for 39 off 20.5 overs. Faisalabad then comfortably bettered the first-innings totals, reaching 160 for 3 at the end of the day's play. Wasim bagged 2 for 46 off his 16 overs.
At the Niaz Stadium, Abbottabad finished the third day at 272 for 3 in reply to Hyderabad's 471 for 8. From 48 for 1, Abbottabad's overnight pair of Hammad Ali and Mohammad Kashif pushed the score to 161. Kashif made 53 off 212 balls, while Hammad, playing his third game, went on to his maiden first-class century. Adnan Raees, the Abbottabad captain, was not out on 69 at stumps. There were 39 extras, including five penalty runs, in Abbottabad's 272.
Group leaders Sialkot might make an early declaration on the final day against Multan in Okara. The visitors closed the day with a lead of 339, with four wickets still remaining in their second innings. Multan, reduced to 164 for 7 on the second day in reply to Sialkot's 339, managed to keep the first-innings deficit to 98 thanks to an unbeaten 55 from debutant Rizwan Haider, batting at No. 9. He lost his overnight partner, Rameez Alam, early but strung together useful partnerships with the final two batsmen to take Multan to 241, the same total Sialkot managed in their second innings till stumps. They scored briskly, using up only 60 overs, with three batsmen making 46 - the third of them being captain Mohammad Ayub's unbeaten score. For Multan, Zulfiqar Babar took three wickets and Abdur Rauf grabbed two.
Second-placed Rawalpindi took the first-innings lead against Lahore Ravi at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Lahore, who began the day on 83 for 3, were bowled out for 267, 37 short of Rawalpindi's 304. Babar Manzoor and Ashraf Ali, the overnight batsmen, both scored half-centuries, but Yasim Murtaza triggered a lower-order collapse: the last five wickets fell for 63 runs. Ashraf Ali kept Lahore's chance of gaining the lead alive with his 97, which needed 259 deliveries, but he was dismissed by Murtaza, who bagged his maiden five-wicket haul. The left-arm slow bowler snared another four, and despite Junaid Zia's 38 and Waqas Ahmed's 22, Lahore did not manage to challenge Rawalpindi's total. Rawalpindi's openers played out one over safely before stumps.
Six wickets for left-armer Waqar Ahmed, and four for Nauman Habib, helped Peshawar skittle out bottom-placed Quetta for 51 at the Niaz Stadium. The duo bowled unchanged for 17.2 overs in the innings after Quetta chose to bat on the second day - no play was possible on the first. Only one batsman scored more than ten. Peshawar then batted 44 overs before stumps, scoring 136 for 4, already a lead of 85. Opener Israrullah top scored with 42, while Nazar Hussain and Jalat Khan shared the wickets.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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