Faisalabad leap to fourth place with six-wicket win
Group IIFaisalabad's six-wicket win over Islamabad, their first in this Quaid-e-Azam trophy, lifted them from the last place in Group II to fourth place with 12 points. The Faisalabad bowlers played a major part in the win, restricting Islamabad to scores of194 and 209 in the two innings, while a collective middle-order performance helped them take a marginal lead.
Faisalabad offspinner Salman Ali took four wickets in the first innings as the Islamabad batsmen, save for Ali Sarfraz, failed to get substantial scores. In reply, forties from Hamza Zaheer, Salman Ali and Fahim Ashraf helped Faisalabad get to 251, getting a lead of 57. In their second innings, Islamabad were blown away by Shehroz Raza who picked up 6 for 61 to restrict them to 209. That left Faisalabad with a target of 153 and they overcame a shaky start to reach the total in 53 overs with six wickets to spare.
Quetta managed to stave off defeat and settle for a draw against Lahore Shalimar in Lahore. Set a target of 296 to win, Quetta were struggling at 99 for 7 before play was called off. The three points earned from the game helped Lahore Shalimar climb to second place in the Group II table, behind Karachi Whites.
Umar Siddiq was the star of the match for Lahore Shalimar, hitting hundreds in each innings to help the side post substantial totals of 357 and 256 in their innings. Pacer Gohar Faiz was the most impressive bowler for Quetta, finishing with his maiden ten-wicket haul - including a six-for in the first innings - but the Quetta batsmen failed to match the batting performance of their opposition. Regular wickets in the first innings saw Quetta fall for 318, 39 runs short of Lahore Shalimar's first-innings total. Quetta's top and middle-order batsmen, Shahzad Tareen, Abdullah Jan and Taimur Ali, all scored fifties but lacked support from the rest of the line-up. In the second innings, chasing 296 were 53 for 4 before losing three quick wickets towards the close of play.
A tame draw between Lahore Ravi, who picked up three points on their first-innings lead, and Rawalpindi saw three maiden first-class hundreds. Lahore collected their first points of the tournament and are still at the bottom of the table while Rawalpindi lead with 28 points from three wins.
The three innings produced scores of over 300 each after Rawalpindi opted to bat. On the back of fifties from middle-order batsmen Awais Zia (83) and Muzammil Nizam (60), they scored 330 after pacer Bilawal Iqbal took 5 for 72. Lahore scored 399 in reply, with a hundred from Abdul Wahab Dar (114) and a knock of 72 from Muntazir Mehdi. In their second essay, Rawalpindi scored 383 for 6 thanks to hundreds from Haseeb Azam and Muzammil Nizam but failed to take away any points from the game.
Abbottabad collected three points in a draw against Bahawalpur at home. This was their fourth draw in five matches and they are now placed fifth, a place above Bahawalpur.
Bahawalpur were put in to bat and their middle order powered them to 437 with contributions from Faisal Mubashir (94), Rehan Rafiq (97) and Adeel Basit (85*). Abbottabad got a strong opening start from Adnan Younis (48) and Mohammad Naeem (50) before the captain Waqar Orakzai blasted a career-best 186 to give them a first-innings lead with a score of 491. Bahawalpur batted again to pile on more runs with the help of Mubashir (81) and Mohammad Yasir (85) before the day ended.