Karachi teams win to top tables in both groups
Karachi Blues 354 (Manzoor 63, Azam Hussain 60, Abdur Rehman 4-127) and 22 for 0 beat Sialkot 124 (Faisal Khan 57, Akbar-ur-Rehman 4-19) and 249 (Ali Khan 82, Akbar-ur-Rehman 4-65)
Karachi Blues' medium pace bowlers, led by Akbar-ur-Rehman, imposed a crushing 10-wicket win on Sialkot on the third day in Karachi. Akbar finished with eight wickets in the match and played a crucial role in dismissing Sialkot for low scores of 124 and 249, only 19 more than Blues' first-innings score when put together.
Sialkot started the third day at 18 for 3, following-on and still trailing by 212, and managed to take a minute lead of 19, led by Ali Khan's run-a-ball 82. Akbar struck with four wickets, supported by two wickets each from Tabish Khan and Azam Hussain.
Earlier, Blues chose to bat and were in trouble at 192 for 6 before their lower-order batsmen rescued them, scoring 162 for the last four wickets to take them to a respectable 354. Sialkot batsmen were not allowed to settle down as Akbar and his team-mates struck regularly to skittle them for 124, making them follow-on. Sialkot provided some resistance in the second innings but barely managed to make Blues bat again. Blues achieved their target of 20 with ease and took nine points to move to the top of the table in Group I.
Karachi Whites 185 (Sarfraz 38, S Hussain 6-52) and 171 for 7 (Latif 51, Sarfraz 36) beat Rawalpindi 153 (Tanvir 37, Maqbool 5-62) and 199 (Amin 57, Faraz 4-10, Maqbool 3-38) by three wickets
In a low-scoring match also played in Karachi, Karachi Whites wrapped up Rawalpindi for under 200 for the second time in the match and achieved victory with three wickets to spare. Rawalpindi were leading by 89 and had five wickets in hand in the second innings on the third morning before losing their remaining wickets for 78 runs, setting the hosts a target of 168. Since neither of the teams had crossed 200 in three innings, 168 was not an easy target.
Whites got off to a shaky start, being 1 for 1 and then 17 for 2. Opener Khalid Latif anchored the innings on one end and scored a half-century to ensure his team was steady and did not collapse during the chase.
Rawalpindi were asked to field by Whites after the toss after which Atif Maqbool's five-wicket haul reduced the visitors to 153. Whites could not achieve a huge total either, scoring 185, but a 32-run lead proved to be crucial at the end which got them nine points and the top position in Group II.