Kamran and Faisal put PIA in control
A magnificent 209 runs partnership for the fifth wicket, between opener Kamran Sajid and skipper Faisal Iqbal, enabled Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to gain a big first innings lead over Pakistan Customs, on the second day at the United Bank Limited (UBL) Sports Complex Ground No.1.
PIA ended on 318 for 5, which means that they are now 119 runs ahead of the Customs' modest first innings effort of 199 all out, with five wickets still in hand. At one stage early in the morning, Customs looked like turning the tide their own way, as four PIA men were back in the pavilion with only 54 scored. The nightwatchman Umar Gul was gone soon after his team resumed at 46 for 2 and Bazid Khan lasted only four balls before perishing for a duck.
However, Kamran and Faisal then took control with an excellent display that saw them both scoring centuries. The 22-year-old Kamran from Lahore achieved his career-best knock of 147, playing in his 50th first-class match. The all-rounder, who represented Pakistan at the 2001-02 Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand, reached his fifth hundred. It was a patient knock, as he stayed at the crease for just over six and a half hours, faced 313 balls and hit 21 boundaries.
Faisal has so far scored an unbeaten 107, in almost five and a quarter hours, off 237 deliveries with the help of 15 fours and a six, his fourth century of the season. Even after Kamran's departure, Faisal found another able partner in the veteran Mahmood Hamid and the two have added 55 for the unbroken sixth-wicket stand.
An interesting match is developing at Sheikhupura as Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) equaled Service Industries' first innings score, by the close of play on the second day. However, after Service had been bowled out for 191, ZTBL replied with exactly that amount of runs but they still have a wicket standing.
At 65 for 6 it appeared that ZTBL would concede a first innings lead. The seam bowler Asim Butt and opening bowler Jamshed Ahmed had them in deep trouble but then came a useful cameo innings of 42 off 68 balls from wicket-keeper Adnan Akmal, the younger brother of Pakistan stumper Kamran Akmal. He helped add 45 for the seventh-wicket stand with Tanvir Ahmed (19). Later on, the tail-enders Kashif Daud (24) and Siddiq Khan (22 not out) continued the reconstruction.
Butt has so far captured a career-best 6 for 29 in 18 overs, his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. Earlier, after having resumed at 174-6, Service were all out for 191. Mustansar Ali added only one run to end his innings at 56 and Kashif Daud, a 19-year-old quick bowler, finished with figures of 5 for 47 in 14 overs.
Struggling Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) turned the tables on Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) by claiming the crucial first innings lead, on the second day at the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Sports Complex.
Faced with KRL's under-par first innings total of 220, SNGPL were spun out for a poor 157 yesterday that handed KRL a 63-run advantage. By the close KRL had boosted their overall lead to 101 runs with all wickets intact. SNGPL were undone by the off-spin of Saeed Ajmal, who captured 4 for 25 in 17.4 overs. He was ably supported by 3 for 51 from Alamgir Khan. The only bright spot in the SNGPL innings was a 63-run fourth-wicket partnership between the Test duo of Mohammad Hafeez and the skipper skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (28). Hafeez hit 40 off just 56 balls with five fours and a six.
Left-arm paceman Sajid Ali finished with 5 for 46 for SNGPL while wicket-keeper Mohammad Salman completed five catches. Even if KRL gain nine points from this match, they'll remain faced with the danger of relegation to next season's Grade-II circuit. They were beaten in all their first three matches and are making their last appearance in the league round.
On yet another day curtailed by heavy fog and fading light Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) moved to 216 for 6 against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) at the Lahore City Cricket Association (LCCA) Ground on Thursday. A thick blanket of fog had reduced the first day's play on Wednesday to a mere 45 deliveries.
On the second morning two wickets fell with the score having got to just 23. Adil Nisar began the recovery with a watchful 37 in a little over two and a quarter hours. Then came an invaluable 123-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Aamer Sajjad top-scored with 74 runs off 139 balls with seven boundaries. Mohammad Sami took 2 for 60 in 18 overs and the medium-fast Yasir Arafat bagged 2 for 51, while Kamran Akmal held two catches.