Asif Mujtaba shines with century for PIA in draw
Asif Mujtaba, Pakistan's former left-handed all-rounder, scored the 49th century of his first-class career, as Pakistan International Airlines' (PIA) four-day, Group A, first-round Patron's Trophy Cricket Championship match against Habib Bank came to an end as a predictable draw at the United Bank Limited (UBL) Sports Complex Ground No.1 on Tuesday.
Habib Bank spent more than two days while compiling a massive first innings total of 681 runs for eight wickets before applying closure. Habib Bank needed to make 531 to avert a follow-on. Eventually, they didn't manage to reach that target but the match was already coming to an end by then. Having resumed at their overnight 202 for four, still needing another 329 runs to make Habib Bank bat again, PIA were all out for 395 in their first innings. They still finished 286 runs in deficit but Habib Bank decided to bat again for nine overs till the final draw of stumps, making 38 for one wicket.
The highlight of the final day's play was a 154 runs fifth-wicket stand between Faisal Iqbal, the captain, and Asif Mujtaba. The latter, now 38 years old and making his 285th appearance in a first-class match, scored 105. Faisal reached 82 before getting dismissed and thus finished just a few runs short of making his 11th hundred in first-class cricket. Asif then found an able partner in Ahmed Zeeshan, the wicketkeeper, (31) as the two added 91 runs for the sixth wicket. Mainly due to the leg-spin of double century-maker Imran Farhat (3-33) and Hasan Raza's off-breaks (2-11), PIA lost their last five wickets for the addition of just 14 runs.
Habib Bank, record seven-time winners of the Patron's Trophy title, got the three points, however. They had to share the title last season with PIA after the final was abandoned due to rain. PIA have never won the competition outright since its introduction in 1972-73.
After Sarfraz Ahmed, Sialkot's hero of their Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Cricket Championship Gold League triumph, took six wickets to set up the win prospects the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) beat Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) by eight wickets, on the final day of their four-day, Group B, first-round Patron's Trophy Cricket Championship match at the Sheikhupura Stadium on Tuesday. Four-time champions ZTBL were bowled out for just 171 runs in their second innings, which meant that after having surrendered a first innings lead of 45 they finished only 126 runs ahead of WAPDA, who had ended as runners-up behind them in the 2003-04 competition. WAPDA resumed yesterday morning at their overnight 51-0 and eventually reached 127 for two to win. Adil Nisar, the captain, followed his first innings 73 with another worthy knock of 79, made off 113 balls with 13 fours.
In the end, it was easy for Pakistan Customs as they defeated Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) by seven wickets , on the final day of their four-day, Group A first-round Patron's Trophy Cricket Championship match at the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Sports Complex on Tuesday.
KRL resumed yesterday morning at 171-9 in their second innings, with an overall lead of just 225 runs. Mohammad Wasim's unbeaten 104 was thus of no avail as their last wicket fell at 183, leaving Customs a target of 238. Wasim, the captain and a former Pakistan opening batsman, carried his bat through the innings, his 104 not out coming off 175 balls with the help of 10 fours. He had made 62 runs in the first innings. Customs were off to a 74-run start between Kashif Siddiq (41) and Hanif Malik, the wicketkeeper, (32). Azhar Shafiq, the captain, (87 not out off 91 balls with 11 fours and two sixes) and Afsar Nawaz (40) then added 97 runs for the third wicket.
Needing only a further 127 runs to win, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) reached 204 for three, on the final day of their four-day, Group A, first-round Patron's Trophy Cricket Championship match and thus beat Service Industries by seven wickets at the Iqbal Stadium on Tuesday.
All their batsmen scored useful runs, Ashar Zaidi and Usman Tariq, the left-hand openers, both getting into the 30s. Eventually, it was the unbroken 79 runs fourth-wicket partnership that took them beyond the victory target. Of these runs, Shahzad Malik hit an enterprising 58 not out off just 45 balls with nine fours and two sixes. Aamer Bashir, the captain, remained unbeaten with 42 runs which saw him negotiate 88 deliveries and hit seven fours. As PTCL had earlier surrendered a 50 runs first innings lead to Service Industries, they collected only six points instead of the full nine.