Razzaq shines for ZTBL
Group AAbdul Razzaq, who along with other ICL players had been recently cleared by the Sind High Court to play domestic games in Pakistan, equally split ten wickets with Junaid Nadir as Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited dismissed Habib Bank Limited for 85 in their first innings in Sheikhupura. After ZTBL, resuming on 231 for 7, pushed their score to 290, HBL were reduced to 39 for 9, but a last-wicket stand between Fahad Masood (48) and Mohammad Aslam (12 not out) took them to 85. Inam-ul-Haq then made an unbeaten 71 as ZTBL furthered their lead to 343.
Despite four quick strikes from another ICL recruit, Shabbir Ahmed, and Jahangir Mirza's unbeaten 107, Water and Power Development Authority finished the day trailing by 91 runs with one first-innings wicket remaining against Pakistan Customs in Sialkot. Beginning the day at 273 for 6, Pakistan Customs could last only 8.1 overs as Shabbir extended his innings tally to six wickets. However, the WAPDA batsmen also struggled in reply. Mirza, batting at No. 3, held up one end with his century, but only two other batsmen made it past 20. Leg-break bowler Fawad Ahmed picked up three wickets in a combined effort from the Pakistan Customs' bowlers - all five used managed to dismiss a batsman.
Afsar Nawaz scored an unbeaten 101 as Karachi Whites posted a formidable first-innings total of 501 for 7 declared against Lahore Shalimar in Muridke. Centuries from openers Ali Asad and Khalif Latif on the opening day had set the platform for a big score. Asad extended his overnight 127 to 172 - a career-best - as Karachi scored 237 runs in 65 overs before declaring on the second day. Lahore did not get off to the best of starts, losing two wickets - including one to Mohammad Sami - for 60 in their 16 overs till close.
Only 28.5 overs were possible in Rawalpindi, where strikes from Mohammed Aamer and Wahad Riaz kept Khan Research Laboratories to 168 for 7 in reply National Bank of Pakistan's 184. Opener Azhar Ali fell on his overnight score of 32, while Bazid Khan also chipped in with the same contribution. KRL's hopes will hinge on Mohammad Wasim, who was unbeaten on 25 at stumps. Aamer took 4 for 58, while Riaz had figures of 2 for 70 in the clash between the table-toppers.
Third-placed Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited finished in a position of strength against Pakistan International Airlines in Faisalabad. Adnan Akmal and Imran Ali helped their team push to 325 from 252 for 7, while Azhar Shafiq, Raza Hasan and Yasir Shah all struck twice to reduce fourth-placed PIA to 166 for 6. Offspinner Tahir Khan, who took four wickets in SNGPL's innings, chipped with an unbeaten 24 in an unbroken 57-run stand with wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, who was not out on 56.
Group BAfter the opening day was dominated by Hyderabad, Quetta did well to claw their way back into contention in the contest in Mirpur Khas. Nazar Hussain struck thrice - he took 4 for 78 in the innings - and three other bowlers took two wickets each as Hyderabad, who started the day at 110 for 1, were bundled out for 249 - a first-innings lead of 86. The last nine wickets fell for 109 runs, with No. 8 Lal Kumar contributing 42. Seventeen-year-old opener Taimur Ali scored 60 and Jalat Ali backed up his two wickets with an unbeaten 92 to help Quetta close the day at 179 for 4, a lead of 93.
Waqar Ahmed's 7 for 114 restricted Faisalabad, overnight on 335 for 4, to 399, but strikes from Zahoor Khan and Saadat Munir saw Peshawar slip to 137 for 6 in their reply in Sargodha. Usman Arshad, resuming on 134, failed to add to his score as Peshawar's last six wickets fell for 64 runs. Peshawar's openers put on an opening stand of 57 before Naved Khan was run out for 8. Israrullah made 42, but Peshawar found themselves at 95 for 6. An unbroken seventh-wicket between Jamaluddin and Hidayatullah Khan kept their hopes up of avoiding the follow-on.
Opening bowler Tabish Khan's three strikes, and four from offspinner Tabish Nawab reduced Multan to 147 for 8 in their first innings against Karachi Blues in Karachi. Adnan Kaleem took the other wicket, that of Kashif Naved, who made 55 but did not to get much support from the rest of the batsmen - the next-best score was 19. With a deficit of 179, Multan would be hopeful their tailenders can take them past the follow-on mark of 150. Earlier, Karachi, who resumed their first innings at 291 for 7, had managed to push their total to 326, with Sheharyar Ghani adding 10 to his 125.
An unbroken 158-run third-wicket stand between opener Raza Ali (94) and Sohail Ahmed (67) helped hosts Lahore Ravi finish the day needing only 94 runs to take the first-innings lead against Abbottabad at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Lahore, who have drawn all their eight games so far this season, brought an early close to Abbottabad's first innings, with Junaid Zia dismissing Nos 10 and 11 in his first two overs of the day.
No play was possible on the second day of the match between Islamabad and leaders Sialkot at Diamond Club Ground. Islamabad were at 6 for 0 after having dismissed the visitors for 268.