Pentangular Cup round-up March 31, 2006

Seamers take Faisalabad close to victory

Faisalabad were left with only 76 runs to win the opening match of the 2005-06 Pentangular Cup Cricket Championship, when they bowled out Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for 283 in their second innings at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday.

After having dismissed PIA for a pathetic 69 runs on the opening day, Faisalabad had gone on to make 277 in their reply, which gave them a first innings advantage of 208 runs. Although PIA did considerably better in the second innings, with two full days to go, their effort has not been enough.

The depleted PIA team once again faltered against the relentless medium-fast attack of Samiullah Niazi and Asad Ali. Samiullah captured 4 for 74, taking his match haul to 8 for 105. Asad Ali's 3 for 71 gave him an analysis of 7 for 90.

Following his first innings duck, Agha Sabir made a worthy 44 off 93 balls for PIA with eight fours. Captain Yasir Hameed, the Pakistan discard, hit 10 boundaries in his 55 off 90 balls. Veteran Mahmood Hamid (47), young allrounder Jannisar Khan (44 not out) following his bowling figures of 5 for 63, and offspinner Tahir Khan (34) contributed substantially but PIA, batting one man short due to an injury to Aizaz Cheema, were all out before the day's close.

The season's Patron's Trophy champions National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) ran up an impressive total of 357 for 6 on the opening day of their match against national champions Sialkot at the Multan Cricket Stadium.

Captain Naumanullah scored his eighth first-class hundred, as he compiled the day's top score of 142. He stayed at the crease for five hours 24 minutes, facing 213 deliveries and hit 25 fours.

With Hyderabad's Faisal Athar, his second-wicket partnership was worth 112 runs. Faisal scored 72 that came off only 94 balls with 15 boundaries. Later, allrounder Mansoor Amjad capped off a satisfying day with an unbeaten 62, having faced 110 balls with eight fours.

Incidentally, three Sialkot players are assisting National Bank in this match. Imran Nazir, Shahid Yousuf and Mansoor Amjad are on the Bank's rolls and thus unavailable for their home region's cricket team.