SNGPL and Habib Bank make finals
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited 643 for 6 dec (Nazir 185, Sohail 152, Sharjeel 141, Zohaib 55*) beat United Bank Limited 179 (Imran 61, Zohaib 3-29, Khalil 3-35) and 208 (Osama 58*, Nadir 3-44, Zohaib 3-51, Zia 3-53) by an innings and 256 runs
A combined bowling effort by Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) and centuries from Imran Nazir, Haris Sohail and Sharjeel Khan took them to a commanding innings-and-256-run win against United Bank Limited in Islamabad. After amassing 643 for 6 at 5.63 runs per over, ZTBL bowled their opponents out twice cheaply to claim the win.
After being put in to bat, ZTBL began positively through a 112-run stand between the openers. After three further partnerships of over 50 each, two big ones of 190 and 158 for the fifth and sixth wickets took them towards the huge total on the second day. Opener Sharjeel scored 141 off 131 balls, Sohail scored 152, and captain Nazir smashed 185 off 152 deliveries with 24 boundaries and two sixes.
United Bank replied poorly, after a decent start through a half-century from opener Imran Ali. But, at 112 for 2, they lost quick wickets, and were soon struggling at 140 for 8. Left-arm seamer Mohammad Khalil and spinner Zohaib Khan took three wickets each. After following on, fast bowlers Junaid Nadir, Junaid Zia and Zohaib ran through the line-up to bowl them out for 208 on the final day. Middle-order batsman Osama Shah was the only one who put up a resistance, scoring an unbeaten 58.
Khan Research Laboratories 239 (Anwar jnr 96, Abbas 4-40, Imran 4-77) and 39 for 0 beat National Bank of Pakistan 124 (Hafeez 45, Ali 5-11, Irfan 4-43) and 151 (Akmal 48, Riaz 4-23, Rahat 3-30, Ali 3-39) by ten wickets
In a low-scoring match in Rawalpindi, a crucial 96 by Saeed Anwar jnr and eight wickets from seamer Ali Khan provided Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) with a comprehensive ten-wicket victory against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), their fourth win this season. After Ali and seamer Mohammad Irfan ran through NBP's line-up, sharing nine wickets to bowl them out for 124, Anwar led KRL to 239, and a combined bowling effort again bowled NBP out cheaply. This shifted the contest in KRL's favour, and they completed the win by chasing 39 down in 3.5 overs on the third day.
NBP, batting first, kept losing wickets to the two seamers Ali and Irfan, and were soon in deep trouble at 44 for 8. But middle-order batsman Anwaar Hafeez struck important stands with the batsmen at No. 10 and No. 11 to manage to lift his team past the 100-run mark.
KRL's innings wasn't authoritative, but in the midst of wickets falling there were some crucial knocks played. Four batsmen contributed over 20 each, but it was No. 3 Anwar's 96 that allowed them to gain a lead of 115 runs. Fast bowler Imran Khan and spinner Qaiser Abbas took four wickets each. NBP tried to repair the damage done by their low first-innings total by setting up a base for a strong second innings. They were going well when the openers put on 50 runs, but then three wickets fell without a run being scored. At 61 for 4, a 75-run partnership followed. At 136 for 4, the stand was broken and NBP lost their final six wickets for 15 runs. This time, Rahat Ali, Ali and Tayyab Riaz shared the wickets as NBP set them a target of 37.
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited 310 (Rizwan 136, Haider 4-87, Ali 4-99) and 149 for 2 (Akmal 57, Waqas 44) drew with State Bank of Pakistan 117 (Bhatti 4-32, Samiullah 4-39)
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), after dominating the contest against State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in Islamabad, settled for a draw. Their first innings revolved around wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan's century, and then they crushed their opponents through fast bowlers Samiullah Khan and Bilawal Bhatti, who took eight wickets together. SNGPL dominated the second innings too, but no play was possible on the final day and the match was drawn.
Fielding first, SBP took wickets regularly to peg SNGPL back; apart from Rizwan, no one scored more than 28. But Rizwan's 136 took them past the 300-run mark, courtesy of a sixth-wicket partnership of 88 runs. SBP didn't have a batsman who could play a responsible innings, though, as Samiullah and Bhatti ran through the line-up. Opener Kashif Siddiq was the top scorer with 39. Umar Akmal, for SNGPL, scored a half-century as his team consolidated on the lead. But due to no play on the fourth day, the match was drawn. SNGPL, who gained three points from the game, top the table and are through to the final.
Water and Power Development Authority 240 (Nasim 101*, Maqsood 53, Anwar 5-83) and 209 (Azmat 46, Said 3-30) drew with Pakistan International Airlines 94 (Babar 5-17, Naved 3-20)
Centuries from Pakistan International Airlines' (PIA) Shoaib Khan snr and Faisal Iqbal forced a draw out of a contest mostly dominated by Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). PIA were heading towards a defeat after they folded for 94 in their first innings; spinner Zulfiqar Babar took five wickets and Naved-ul-Hasan claimed three. They then bowled WAPDA out for 209, and chasing a stiff 356 to win, managed to reach 291 for 5 as the match was drawn.
WAPDA's first innings was based on a century by middle-order batsman Saad Nasim, and a half-century by Shoaib Maqsood. None of the other batsmen scored more than 19 runs as WAPDA were bowled out for 240 on the second day. Fast bowler Anwar Ali took five wickets.
A collective bowling performance helped them bowl PIA out for 94. PIA, at 83 for 3, lost seven wickets for 11 runs to concede a 146-run lead. They bounced back to bowl WAPDA out for 209. Their chase was off to a poor start as seamer Junaid Khan had reduced PIA to 39 for 4. But a 250-run stand between Shoaib and Faisal avoided defeat.
Port Qasim Authority 675 for 6 (Amin 281, Latif 128, Manzoor 74, Ehsan 50) drew with Habib Bank Limited 198 for 2 (Farhat 97, Masood 58*)
Habib Bank Limited, the team to make the finals, played out a draw against Port Qasim Authority (PQA) at Diamond Club Ground, Islamabad. Umar Amin scored 281, his highest in first-class cricket, and captain Khalid Latif made 128 as PQA, batting first, amassed 675 for 6 before declaring their innings on the third day. Habib Bank replied equally strongly, but no one scored a century.
Opener Imran Farhat scored 97 and his partner Shan Masood was unbeaten on 58. At 198 for 2 on the final day, both teams settled for a draw.