Huge wins for PIA, HBL, Sui Gas
Pakistan Television fought back from a 70-run first-innings deficit to register a six-wicket win against Karachi Zebras in Karachi. Fast-bowler Mohammad Abbas was central to PTV's revival; the bowler registered his best figures - 7 for 57 - in the second innings to skittle Zebras out for 139. The top order, led by fifties from Raheel Majeed and Zeeshan Mushtaq, then made short work of the 210-run target.
Zebras, after opting to bat, were led to 261 in the first innings by an unbeaten 89 from captain Owais Rehmani. The innings helped the team recover from 98 for 5. PTV stumbled in their first innings too as no one apart from Nawaz Ahmed (93) crossed 23. Mansoor Ahmed picked up five wickets in the inning. However, Zebras let the advantage slip with a poor second innings, collapsing against Abbas for the second time in the match. Abbas finished with match figures of 10 for 105.
Pakistan International Airlines consolidated their position at the top of the Group I table with a commanding 10-wicket win against Hyderabad Hawks. The PIA bowlers struck at regular intervals and limited Hawks to 173 after putting them in.
The batsmen then responded strongly: opener Shehzar Mohammad scored his maiden first-class century while Fahad Iqbal (63), Faisal Iqbal (58) and Shoaib Khan snr (81) supported him to raise 415 on the board.
Hawks had a shaky start - they were 5 for 2 - but recovered to 104 for 2. However, debutant Hazrat Shah struck in quick succession and Hawks stumbled to 242 all out, only just avoiding the innings loss. PIA were required to bat again to score the one run they needed.
Seamer Yasir Ali five wickets triggered a Quetta Bears second-innings collapse that led to their 10-wicket loss at the hands of Khan Research Laboratories. Bears trailed by 52 runs after the first innings, but lost four top-order wickets before erasing the deficit. Only three batsmen registered double-digit scores and the team was skittled out for 91. The KRL openers scored the requisite 41 runs within ten overs to give the team their second win in two matches.
Bears' first innings would have been a disaster was it not for Shahzad Tareen's 87 as the next best score from their batsman was 21. Only one other batsman went past 10. In contrast, none of KRL's batsmen registered a fifty, but there were enough contributions to lift the team past 200.
Having been inserted, Falcons lost three quick wickets in their first innings, but recovered with an 80-run stand for the fourth wicket between Umar Nawaz (49) and Khalilullah (33). However, from 104 for 3, the team collapsed to 185 all out as Gul (5 for 41), Abdul Ameer and Abdur Rehman struck at regular intervals.
In reply, Habib Bank managed 316 to collect a lead of 131. Imran Farhat struck 18 fours during his 113, while the likes of Hasan Raza, Humayun Farhat and Rehman chipped in with handy scores down the order to lift the total over 300.
Falcons did not fare any better in their second essay, as none of their batsmen could muster more than 18. Seamer Sarmad Anwar was the pick of Habib Bank's bowlers and finished with 4 for 40, as Falcons were bundled out for 117 inside 41 overs, wrapping up a huge victory.
Sui Southern Gas Corporation's all-round brilliance was on show in their commanding innings and 243-run win against Faisalabad Wolves in Faisalabad. Seamer Tariq Haroon smashed a century from No. 8 while Tabish Khan hit a fifty and returned with match haul of seven wickets to prop up Sui Gas to the top of the Group II table.
After Sui Gas opted to bowl, Tabish, along with Mohammad Irfan, ran through the Faisalabad team to dismiss them for 118. Both bowlers picked up four wickets apiece as only four batsmen registered double-digits scores. In response, Sui Gas took lead with only three wickets lots and were 104-run ahead when Tarid came to the crease. He went on to hit 15 fours and four sixes to register his second first-class hundred. Tabish gave him good company, the two adding 182 runs for the eighth wicket. Sui Gas finished the innings 343 ahead of Faisalabad.
The home team fared worse in the second innings, collapsing to 100 all out. They started poorly - stumbling to 3-1 - and never recovered. Tabish was the one who did the early damage and finished with 7 for 51 in the match.