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December 25, 2005
An unbeaten 103 by Misbah-ul-Haq, the captain, helped Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) to a magnificent five-wicket victory against Habib Bank in Karachi. Set a stiff target of 325, SNGPL, resuming on 118 for 3, rode to victory on the back of two substantial partnerships - 101 for the fourth wicket between Misbah and Sufyan Munir (94), and 98 for the fifth between Misbah and Saleem Mughal (53). Mughal got out with 40 runs still required for victory, but Misbah was then joined by Mohammad Salman, who made an unbeaten 22 and ensured that there were no hiccups on the home stretch.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) swept to a convincing 105-run victory against Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) at the National Stadium in Karachi. Requiring 310 for victory, KRL were bundled out for 204 by PIA's three-pronged pace attack of Fazl-e-Akbar, Umar Gul and Najaf Shah. Together, the three fast bowlers took eight of the ten wickets, with Gul and Shah taking three each. Akbar and Gul did the early damage, dismissing the KRL openers with only 29 on the board. Zulfiqar Jan, the wicketkeeper, top-scored with 35 but none of the other batsmen got past 30 as KRL slumped to defeat despite taking a 120-run first-innings lead.
The weather-affected match between National Bank and Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) ended in a draw, with less than two innings being completed. Replying to National Bank's meagre total of 161, PTCL made 190 for 7 before play was called off. Asim Kamal, the left-handed batsman, top-scored with 74 and helped their team secure the first-innings points.
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) took the honours in their drawn match against Services Industries at Faisalabad. Replying to WAPDA's first-innings total of 446 for 5 declared, Services Industries were bundled out for 280, 17 short of their follow-on target. The star for WAPDA was Kashif Raza, a 26-year-old right-arm medium-fast bowler. Just one day shy of his 26th birthday, Raza celebrated by taking 8 for 84, his best first-class figures, as the Services Industries were bowled out despite spirited resistance by Khurram Shehzad (71) and Faisal Khan (61). With only a couple of hours left in the game, WAPDA decided to go in for batting practice rather than enforce the follow-on, and finished on 137 for 4.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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