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January 16, 2006
A captain's knock of 102 by Aamer Bashir lifted Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) in their Patron's Trophy Cricket Championship Quadrangular Stage round match against Habib Bank at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Monday. His knock was the only high point of an otherwise dispirited batting display by PTCL on the second day of the four-day encounter. Having been put in to bat on Sunday's opening day, they were however helped to a decent total of 271.
Batting at number five, Aamer struck 15 fours and a six after his team had started the second day at their overnight 58 for 2. While Aamer batted with authority and assurance, wickets tumbled around him at regular intervals. He dominated the fifth-wicket stand of 95 with Mohammad Hussain, the former Pakistan left-handed all-rounder, whose contribution was 34 off 90 balls with five fours.
For Aamer, 33, who was playing on his home ground, the 155-ball knock in just over three and a half hours was his 16th hundred in 178 first-class matches. All five Habib Bank bowlers used by Hasan Raza, the Pakistan middle-order batsman, claimed wickets with Fahad Masood emerging as the best of the lot with 3 for 55.
By the close of play, in yet another match disrupted by poor weather and fading light, the Habib Bank openers had negotiated just two deliveries without putting any runs on the board. Only 18 overs were bowled on the first day, on which PTCL lost their opening pair while reaching 58. Yesterday, a total of 62.1 overs' play was possible.
PTCL, who have yet to win a Patron's Trophy title, are pitted against Habib Bank, record seven-time winners of the competition. The latter in addition also shared the trophy last season with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) after the final was rained off. After a group-league round among 10 teams divided in two groups of five each, the top two teams from either pool have qualified for the tournament's Quadrangular Stage round. The side finishing on top of the points table will be crowned the season's Patron's Trophy champion. The Quadrangular Stage round will see each of the four teams playing three matches. The other two outfits that have made it this far are PIA and five-time Patron's Trophy champions National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).
The other match between Pakistan International Airlines and National Bank of Pakistan, due to start at the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) Stadium in Rawalpindi, saw a completely blank day due to rain in the city.
© Daily News
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