ZTBL in control against Faisalabad
Sharjeel Khan and Yasir Hameed made big hundreds as Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited dominated Faisalabad at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. The pair added 207 for the second wicket, with Sharjeel the more aggressive of the two, striking 32 fours and two sixes in his 154. He was eventually dismissed by Aqueel Ahmed, but Hameed made sure there would be no let up, bringing up his own century and taking ZTBL to 401 for 4. Hameed was unbeaten on 146 at the close, having batted for almost six hours, with Zohaib Khan on 19 for company. Zulqarnain Haider, the Pakistan wicketkeeper who is making his return to first-class cricket after fleeing to the UK, was bowled by Abdul Rauf for a duck, the one blemish for ZTBL on the day.
Water and Power Development Authority wrapped up Abbottabad's innings for 259 but the home side struck back to take four wickets to leave the match evenly poised on a day when only 37 overs were bowled at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium. Naved-ul-Hasan and Sarfraz Ahmad needed just 12 overs to nip out the Abbottabad tail, leaving Khalid Usman unbeaten on 56. The pair ended with three wickets apiece, while left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar took four on the first day. WAPDA started well, with the openers adding 52, but Junaid Khan struck three quick blows as the side lost four wickets for 19 runs. Opener Rafatullah Mohmand remained unbeaten on an attacking 57 from 70 balls, having struck 10 fours.
A century from Adnan Raees allowed State Bank of Pakistan to take the first-innings lead over Karachi Blues at the National Stadium in Karachi. SBP had slumped to 126 for 5 in pursuit of Karachi's 253, but Raees held the lower order together, getting valuable contributions from Rameez Aziz, who made 16 but lasted 43 balls, and Gulraiz Sadaf, whose dogged resistance allowed the pair to added 121 unbeaten runs for the seventh wicket. Raees ended the day on 141 from 244 balls, while Sadaf had accumulated 32 from 107.
Rawalpindi's batsmen laboured through their innings but did enough to earn a comfortable first-innings lead over National Bank of Pakistan at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium with two wickets still in hand. Usman Saeed was the only batsman to make a half-century with a patient 56 from 178 balls. No one else managed more than 37, and Rawalpindi's total of 265 for 8 was boosted by 56 extras. Mohammad Talha was the best of the bowlers, ending the day with 4 for 65, while Umaid Asif took 3 for 53.
Mohammad Ayub made an unbeaten 186 - his highest first-class score - to carry Sialkot to 397 against Habib Bank at the Jinnah Stadium. Ayub and Mubeen Mughal carried on from the overnight score of 253 for 5 before Mughal went caught behind to Kamran Hussain for 47. The duo added 115 for the sixth wicket after which Ayub took Sialkot to the brink of 400 in the company of the tail. Left-arm seamer Hussain - who played two ODIs for Pakistan in 2008 - finished with 6 for 105. Habib Bank breezed to 91 in 19 overs for the loss of Ahmed Shehzad's wicket.
In the 58 overs bowled today, Pakistan International Airlines rode on Agha Sabir's unbeaten 153 to move to 340 for 4 against Islamabad at the Diamond Club Ground. PIA started the second day on 144 for 2 and were in slight bother at 240 for 4 after the dismissals of Faisal and Fahad Iqbal. Sabir and Shoaib Khan snr put on an unbeaten 100 for the fifth wicket to ensure PIA continued to be in control.
Rizwan Ahmed's half-century, backed up by useful contributions from the lower order, helped Hyderabad add 146 runs to their overnight tally and post 390 against Quetta at the Niaz Stadium in Hyderabad. Jamshed Baig, who was unbeaten on 39 overnight, fell for 77 while his partner, the top-scorer Shahid Qambrani was dismissed without adding to his score of 82. Rizwan, after adding 60 with Jamshed for the sixth wicket, received support from captain Mir Ali (20). Batting at No.9, Nasir Awais made a quickfire 41 while Zahid Mahmood chipped in with 23 to stretch Hyderabad's score. In Quetta's response, opener Bismillah Khan delivered a solid start by making 66 but Awais struck twice before the close, leaving the visitors on 124 for 4.
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited gained the ascendancy in their contest against Khan Research Laboratories in Rawalpindi. A six-wicket haul from offspinning allrounder Mohammad Hafeez helped SNGPL bowl out KRL for 192 and secure a lead of 31 in the first innings. The going could have been far worse for KRL, who had been reduced to 82 for 6 at one stage but wicketkeeper and captain Zulfiqar Jan topscored with 62, amid support from No.9 batsman Yasir Ali who made 21. The pair helped reduce the deficit but only after Hafeez had caused considerable damage after running through the top and middle orders. He made a quickfire 28 in the second innings before being dismissed, and SNGPL finished the day on 38 for 1, a lead of 69.
In a similar vein, Lahore Ravi took the upper-hand against Lahore Shalimar at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Shalimar's top and middle orders got starts but failed to push on. Each of their top seven reached double-figures but only managed a highest of 44 - by Mohammad Sohail - between them. The lower order caved in, as the last five wickets fell for 13 runs. Mohammad Irfan bagged 6 for 35 to give his team a lead of 82. That was extended to 99 by stumps as Ravi finished the day on 17 for 1.
Peshawar were pushing for a win against Multan at the Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar. Having bowled out Multan for 67 on the opening day, Peshawar set about dominating proceedings again on the second day. Sajjad Ahmed and captain Akbar Badshah smashed centuries and added an unbeaten 173 for the fourth wicket. They scored at a fair clip and built a first-innings lead of 298 before declaring on 365 for 3. Their seamer Nauman Habib went about justifying that decision by picking up three wickets before the close as Multan ended the day on 119 for 4. Naved Yasin batted positively, remaining unbeaten on 63.
Karachi Whites had the advantage in a low-scoring encounter against United Bank Limited in Karachi. An unbeaten 109 from Saeed Bin Nasir was the backbone of Karachi's score of 204, which, amid ordinary performances from his partners, gave his team a potentially decisive 65-run first-innings lead. The next highest score in the innings was 14. Left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti picked up five wickets and seamer Mohammad Irshad backed him up with a four-for. In their second innings, UBL squandered an excellent position. Opener Ali Asad and Saad Sukhail struck half-centuries and their team had taken the lead, going well at 118 for 1. But a collapse followed where the next five wickets fell for 34. Left-arm spinner Faraz Ahmed took four wickets, and UBL were 164 for 6 at stumps - a lead of 99 with Sukhail still at the crease.