Pentangular Cricket Championship, first round April 2, 2006

Mansoor shines as National Bank build lead

The National Bank batsmen faltered in the second innings against Sialkot on the third day at the Multan Cricket Stadium, yet their team finished 241 runs ahead of the opponents with four wickets intact.

After having gained a first-innings advantage of 102 runs, National Bank lost five wickets in the second outing for 72 runs. A sixth-wicket stand of 64 had them breathing again and they are back in the game hoping to achieve an outright win on the final day.

Allrounder Mansoor Amjad, a legspinner from Sialkot having to play against his own regional outfit, came to National Bank's rescue with an unbeaten innings of 30 as his team reached 139 for 6. Naved Latif, a former Pakistan batsman, quickly contributed 39 runs in his partnership with Mansoor, who had scored 122 in National Bank's first innings. He also had figures of 4 for 102 in 27 overs as Sialkot were restricted 409 chasing National Bank's first-innings effort of 511 runs.

Sialkot resumed on 236 for 2 with opener Atiq-ur-Rehman unbeaten at 150. He managed to add only seven runs to his score, before falling to paceman Wasim Khan, who captured 4 for 90 in his 29 overs. Later, Abdul Rehman (49) and Kamran Younis (42) added 78 runs for the seventh wicket, but getting to 511 runs proved to be a difficult task. Mansoor's fourth wicket was his 100th in his 33rd first-class appearance.

A lead of 300 or thereabouts today would place National Bank in a good position to achieve an outright win. In any case, they will take the first-innings points if the match ends in a draw.