Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, 11th round, 3rd day February 27, 2009

Sialkot through to final, KRL top Group A for now

Cricinfo staff

Group A

Mohammad Wasim and Ali Naqvi performed outstandingly with the bat and together with Junaid Khan's astounding figures of 4-0-4-5 helped Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) beat bottom-placed Pakistan Customs at the Mirpur Cricket Stadium. The 320-run victory also put them temporarily on top of the group, ahead of NBP. Wasim and Naqvi picked up from they left off on the previous day, adding 154 for the fourth wicket. Naqvi fell for 82, hitting 16 boundaries in his 146-ball innings. Wasim went on to bring up his century and displayed outstanding technique. He exited on 165 off 233 balls, after stroking 26 fours. He was fourth victim of Farhan Ayub, who ended with 5 for 103. KRL declared on 370 for 8, setting Customs a stiff target of 400. However, in another dismal batting performance, Customs folded for 79 inside the 27th over.

It was a field day for the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) seamers as they helped their team grab first-innings points against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited(SNGPL) at the Multan Cricket Stadium. The lead, more importantly, put NBP on course for a spot in the finals against Sialkot, with Khan Research Laboratories ahead at the top by three points. Continuing from 214 for 4 the previous day, Wahab Riaz, Moahmmad Aamer and Uzair-ul-Haq shared nine wickets among them to shoot out SNGPL for 292 after 30 overs on the third day. Wahab was the most successful with 4 for 74, while Aamer and Haq picked up three and two wickets respectively. NBP built on their lead of 34, as Naumanullah (35 not out) and captain Qaiser Abbas (27 not out) took them through to stumps at 143 for 3.

Inam-ul-Haq's 145 may have been the highlight on the third day of the clash between Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) at the Iqbal Stadium but five wickets between Ali Imran and Tahir Khan kept PIA in the hunt for first-innings points. Resuming on 142 for no loss, ZTBL lost Afaq Raheem early. But Haq continued undeterred, as he put on a 50-run partnership with Aamer Bashir for the third wicket. It was a confident innings of 145 from the right-handed Haq who stroked 13 boundaries in his 253-ball innings. His knock failed to inspire the middle order, who were rattled by Imran and Tahir. Imran picked up 3 for 62, while Tahir bagged 2 for 59 to leave ZTBL on 322 for 7, still 137 behind PIA's first-innings score.

Wajid Ali and Ahmed Zeeshan starred for Sui Southern Gas Corporation (SSGC) on a frustrating day for the Lahore Shalimar bowlers at Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Wajid hit a composed century while Zeeshan stroked 91 off 177 balls, which included 12 fours. Though Asif Zakir fell early on the third day, the other overnight batsman, Wajid, played patiently and put on 164 with Zeeshan for the third wicket. He was eventually bowled by Sheraz Butt for 119, after having stroked 10 boundaries in his 177-ball innings. Captain Saeed Bin Nasir and Ashraf Ali saw them through to the end of play with the score on 308 for 4, still trailing Lahore by 148 runs.

Abdur Rehman and Mohammad Aslam helped Habib Bank Limited (HBL) bowl out Water and Power Development Authority early on the third day at the Shiekhapura Stadium. Overnight batsman Nawaz Sardar reached his half-century but was bowled two runs later by Aslam, who ended with 3 for 58. Rehman ensured there was no late show after WAPDA resumed on 239 for 7, finishing with 4 for 75 as the opposition wetre shot out for 264. In response, HBL managed 148 for 4, anchored by Rehan Rafiq's unbeaten 81.

Group B

Naved Arif's five-wicket haul helped Sialkot book their place in the final with a 10-wicket win against Faisalabad at the Jinnah Stadium. Arif was well supported by Nayyer Abbas as they bowled out the visitors for 309. Sialkot openers Kamran Younis and captain Mohammad Younus then knocked off the required 53 runs in the 11th over to seal the win with a day to spare. Resuming on 174 for 1, Faisalabad lost wickets at regular intervals. Overnight centurion Imran Ali could add just 14 to his score as he was caught by Naeemuddin off Sarmad Anwar for 128. His 138-ball innings included 21 boundaries and two sixes. Arif removed the other unbeaten batsmen Mohammad Sharif for 47. Arif ended with 5 for 120, while Abbas picked up 3 for 73. Sialkot will be facing either Khan Research Laboratories or National Bank of Pakistan in the final which begins from Tuesday.

A brilliant 193 from Kashif Naved and three more half-centuries powered Multan to a 217-run lead against Abbottabad at Okara. Kashif's 255-ball effort comprised 28 fours and he was well supported by the other overnight batsman, Naved Yasin. Yasin ended with 80 off 182 balls, hitting 13 boundaries, and put on 223 for the third wicket with Kashif. Wicketkeeper Gulraiz Sadaf chipped in with 50 while Rizwan Haider hit a quick 69-ball 73 as Abbottabad declared on 550 for 6. Abdur Rauf then struck three blows to leave Abbottabad reeling at 51 for 4 at the end of play.

Waqas Ahmed and Usman Malik took four wickets apiece to hand Lahore Ravi first-innings points against Islamabad at the Diamond Club Ground. Having completed their fifty-run stand, the overnight batsmen, Ali Sarfraz and wicketkeeper Naeem Anjum, were looking good for more but once Usman trapped Sarfraz leg-before for 72, a collapse followed. Both Waqas and Usman ensured the tail provided no support for Naeem during his 90-ball 44. Lahore's second-innings revolved around Kashif Siddiq's well-composed 117 off 146 balls, which comprised 12 boundaries and two sixes. The other batsmen did get starts but none went on to post big scores as Lahore ended the day on 287 for 7, with an overall lead of 410.

Twin half-centuries from opener Azeem Ghumman and Aqeel Anjum boosted bottom-placed Hyderabad's chances of registering their first win of the tournament against Karachi Blues at the Nawabshah Cricket Stadium. Once Karachi were bowled out, having added just one run to their overnight score of 205 for 9, the Hyderabad openers were off to a rousing start. Ghumman, in particular, looked confident during the opening stand of 116. He finally fell for 51 off 84 balls, hitting six boundaries en route. The baton was then handed over to Anjum who stroked a confident 157-ball 78, which included nine fours. Lal Kumar and Shoaib Laghari were batting at stumps, with Hyderabad on 232 for 5, ahead by 304.