Stephen John and Junaid Zia put Customs back on track
Pace bowlers Stephen John and Junaid Zia brought Pakistan Customs back on track against DHA for a berth in the first-class Patron's Trophy. Twenty wickets fell on the opening day of the latest round in the Inter-Department Qualifying Tournament.
Earlier in the day Customs were bowled out for 161 with Rizwan Saeed taking 6 for 58 and Nasir Khan 4 for 46, but then John and Junaid, bowling on a seamer-friendly pitch, shared ten wickets as DHA were shot out for 80. John took 5 for 20 while Junaid, who was recently adjudged the best player in the Emerging Trophy, took 5 for 46. He now has 31 wickets in the competition. Customs were 22 for 0 at the close stumps, a lead of 101 runs.
Before the the match, Customs had 21 points from five matches against DHA's 27 from four. If Customs secure maximum points in this game, DHA will be awkwardly placed as their last match is against leaders PIA who have already qualified to play in Patron's Trophy with 36 points from five matches.
Debutants Karachi Port Trust needed a winning draw against National Bank to qualify along with ZTBL from Pool C. They went off to a decent start, finishing the day on 221 for 3 off 65.3 overs, with former Pakistan junior captain Maisam Hasnain unbeaten on 86. Former Test opener Shadab Kabir scored 55.
In Pool B, the battle for the second qualification spot behind Wapda is on in earnest. KRL and ARL are both locked at 21 points apiece, while PTCL were only three points behind before the start of this round. At stumps on the first day, KRL were in trouble against PTV on 184 for 6 from 47 overs, while PTCL were 135 for 1 in 31 overs against ARL.