Patrons Trophy, Quadrangular Stage, 3rd round January 30, 2006

PIA batsmen stage spirited fightback

Cricinfo staff
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The Pakistan International Airlines batsmen staged a splendid fightback, as they finished the third day of their Patrons Trophy Quadrangular Stage match against Habib Bank with an overall lead of 296 with three second-innings wickets remaining.

After having earlier surrendered a 19-run first-innings lead to Habib Bank, PIA reached 315 for 7 in their second innings by close of play on the third day. Ghulam Ali followed his 79 on the first day with another valuable knock of 84, off 162 balls in just over four-and-a-quarter hours with 10 fours and a six. At stumps, Bazid Khan, PIA's stand-in captain, and Najaf Shah, the left-arm pace bowler, were at the crease on 38 apiece, having added 73 for the eighth wicket.

Earlier, Ghulam Ali and Yasir Hameed (30) had put on 71 for the second wicket. Then, Ghulam was joined by Asif Mujtaba (45) as another 105 were made added for the third wicket. Four wickets fell with only 24 scored before Bazid and Najaf steadied the ship.

On a day cut short by bad light, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) reached a first innings score of 214 for 6 on the first day of their Patrons Trophy match against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) at the Sheikhupura Stadium .

At the forefront of PTCL's late fightback was an unbeaten 59 by Asim Kamal, Pakistan's left-handed middle-order Test batsman. Kamal scored his runs off 122 balls in under three hours with nine boundaries.

Earlier, after PTCL had been put in, they lost their first three wickets with only 14 on the board. Aamer Bashir, the captain, then helped take the score to 54 in partnership with Usman Tariq. Aamer's 55 came off 87 balls with eight fours. Shahzad Malik had to retire hurt but Aamer and Asim helped move the score to 117 for 4, when Aamer was dismissed by Wasim Khan, the fast bowler, who bagged three wickets. Another 97 runs were added till the day's close, with Asim and Tahir Mughal adding 58 for the seventh wicket.

This match was earlier scheduled to start on Friday in Multan, but it was shifted because floodlights are being installed at the Multan Cricket Stadium prior to the ODI between Pakistan and India next month.