Big wins for SNGPL, NBP and Rawalpindi
Left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Aamer finished with career-best figures of 7 for 61 as National Bank of Pakistan beat Lahore Shalimar by an innings and 90 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium. Lahore Shalimar, struggling overnight at 33 for 5, needed of 210 more runs to make NBP bat again. Though captain Zulqarnain Haider, who top scored with 60, and lower-order batsman Mohammad Saaed resisted with a 104-run seventh-wicket partnership, the rest of the batting line-up simply crumbled. Only three batsmen reached double figures. Lahore Shalimar lost their last four wickets for six runs, including two scalps for Aamer, in an innings that lasted 32.5 overs.
An unbeaten 120 from Aftab Alam helped Habib Bank Limited overcome a collapse against Khan Research Laboratories in Rawalpindi. Fast bowlers Yasir Ali and Akhtar Ayub took three wickets each as HBL were reeling at 159 for 9 after being put in, despite a 76-run fifth-wicket stand between Younis and Sulaman Qadir, who made 36. However, Alam helped his team salvage a respectable score as No.11 batsman Irfan Fazil supported him well with a determined 19 in a last-wicket stand of 82. In reply, KRL were 16 without loss at stumps.
Ali Azmat and Naved-ul-Hasan scored centuries to put Water and Power Development Authority on top against Sui Southern Gas Corporation in Muridke. The pair were helped by contributions of 86 from captain Aamer Sajjad and 72 from Jahangir Mirza as WAPDA declared on a formidable score of 460. The effort marked a remarkable recovery from a potentially precarious situation at 77 for 4 on the first day. In reply, SSGC struggled to reach 50 for 3 at stumps as Naved followed up his admirable batting display to take 2 for 20 and put pressure on the opposition. With a day remaining, the chances of victory for SSGC are low.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited got themselves into a dominant position against Pakistan Customs in Sheikhpura. A collective batting effort helped them gain a potentially decisive first-innings lead of 237. Overnight batsman Inam-ul-Haq top scored with 110, but it were the contributions from the middle order that enabled his team reach an imposing score. Aamer Bashir was bowled one short of a century, Abdul Razzaq was run out two short, and Faisal Naved made an aggressive 77-ball 72 to extend ZTBL's advantage after they had overhauled Pakistan Customs' 280. Mohammad Hussain took four wickets, but not before conceding 156 runs. In reply, Pakistan Customs lost their openers Rameez Raja and Rameez Aziz on the same score after they had provided their team a sound start, adding 88. They finished the day on 105 for 2, but with a day's play remaining, ZTBL will look to force a result by bowling out the opposition cheaply.
Group BIt was a bizarre day in Islamabad, with both teams forfeiting their first innings to force a result after two days were lost to bad weather. The move, though, backfired for Quetta, who were bowled out for 41 in under 14 overs, with fast bowler Mohammad Rameez taking 6 for 17. Only two of their batsmen, including Jalat Khan, who made 21, managed double figures and Rawalpindi reached their target without much difficulty, seven overs to complete the job. Opener Babar Naeem made an unbeaten 26 off 21 balls to hasten the end for Quetta.
Only 30 overs were possible on the third day in Sargodha, as Faisalabad finished on 85 for 1 at stumps against Abbottabad. Asked to bat, the Faisalabad openers Imran Ali and Zeeshan Ashraf put on 56 before left-arm spinner Asif Ali had Imran caught behind for 27. Zeeshan was unbeaten on 38 at stumps but a draw is the likely result after no play was possible on the first two days due to bad weather.
Karachi Blues were helped to 249 for 9 by their middle and lower orders against Islamabad at the Diamond Club Ground. Asked to bat, Karachi lost opener Shahzaib Hasan early with the score on 5, caught off fast bowler Saad Altaf, who finished the day with 3 for 82. They recovered with captain Shadab Kabir and Wajihuddin adding 55 for the second wicket, but lost their way, losing three wickets for 11 runs to slip to 79 for 4. However, the middle order stepped up. Danil Ahsan made 42, and added 84 with Faraz Patel, who made 38, to restore some stability to his team's innings. Though the Islamabad bowlers struck back, reducing the opposition to 194 for 8 - Rauf Akbar and left-arm spinner Imad Wasim took two wickets each - wicketkeeper Owais Rehmani remained unbeaten till stumps on 53, adding 55 with No. 10 Tabish Khan.
Lahore Ravi had the better of the third day at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. They bowled out Multan for 306 - spinners Kashif Siddiq and Sohail Ahmed took four wickets each - and batted themselves into a comfortable position at 196 for 3 at stumps. For Multan, Naved Yasin remained unbeaten on 125 and was involved in an important 78-run stand with Zulfiqar Babar, which helped take their team past 300. Babar proved handy with the ball as well, taking all the three Lahore Ravi wickets to fall, but half-centuries from Siddiq and Raza Ali ensured their team responded fittingly to Multan's total. However, with only a day left, the match appears to be meandering towards a draw.
Centuries from Haris Sohail and captain Mohammad Ayub, and three wickets from left-arm spinner Nayyer Abbas put Sialkot firmly on top against Peshawar at the Arab Niaz Stadium. Fast bowlers Waqar Ahmed and Nauman Habib took nine wickets between them, including the final five wickets for 65, but Sohail and Ayub added a match-turning partnership of 273 for the fifth wicket to take their team past 300. They helped Sialkot recover after the side were left reeling at 31 for 4. The Sialkot bowlers then responded well to the 369-run cushion provided by their batsmen, with the Peshawar openers dismissed within ten runs of each other. Abbas and medium-pacer Bilawal Bhatti kept chipping away at the Peshawar batsmen, restricting them to 120 for 6 at stumps. Only Jamaluddin offered any resistance, scoring 40. However, with one day left, Sialkot will need to bring an early conclusion to the Peshawar innings in order to force an innings win.