Easy victory for Faisalabad
Faisalabad didn't waste any time, as they won their Pentangular Cup match against Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), early on the third morning at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Saturday, beating their opponents convincinglyby nine wickets with Faisalabad grabbing the full nine points.
They began their second innings yesterday and settled the issue within 15 overs, well before lunch. The opening stand of 71 made it doubly sure that the target was achieved with no fuss at all. After having been dismissed for a first-ball duck in the first innings, Pakistan discard Mohammad Hafeez hit an unbeaten 41 off 54 deliveries, in an hour and 10 minutes with seven boundaries.
PIA, who have won the Pentangular event three times in the past, had in fact virtually lost the match on the opening day when they were bowled out for a poor first innings total of 69. Faisalabad ended the first day with a first innings advantage of 208 runs, after making 277 in their reply. PIA did much better the second time round by compiling a total of 283, but Faisalabad eventually required a mere 76 runs to win.
While Faisalabad's second-round match starts at the same venue on April 5 against Sialkot, PIA will travel to Multan to meet Karachi Harbour in their next game on the same day.
In a game dominated so far by the batsmen, Sialkot responded positively with a score of 236 for two, after National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) had compiled a total of 511 in their first innings, on the second day of their Pentangular Cup match at Multan.
Two young batsmen contributed significant three-figure scores yesterday, as Sialkot, who are 275 behind National Bank, ended the day needing another 125 runs to avoid the follow-on with eight wickets remaining. At the crease for Sialkot at stumps was Atiq-ur-Rehman, the opener, who scored his maiden first-class hundred. The Gujranwala player, who turns 22 later this month, has so far scored a magnificent 150 not out, off 206 balls with 22 fours and two sixes. He and his partner Inam-ul-Haq gave Sialkot a flying start of 218 in 226 minutes, the latter contributing a fine 69 off 129 deliveries with eight boundaries.
Earlier, after National Bank had resumed at their overnight 357 for six, Mansoor Amjad, the allrounder, took his score of 62 to 122 not out as his side reached a total of 511 runs. Mansoor scored the second hundred of his first-class career. He batted for a little over four hours, faced 198 balls and hit 13 fours. With Mohammad Sami, his seventh-wicket stand was worth 88 runs. Sami missed his half-century by a solitary run, his 49 coming off only 52 balls with seven fours and a six. Later, pace bowler Wasim Khan helped Mansoor add another 76 for the ninth-wicket. Wasim's 44 came off only 41 balls, with four fours and two sixes.