Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, 2006-07 January 8, 2007

Shoaib Akhtar rattles Abbottabad

Cricinfo staff

Gold League
Opener Asif Zakir and Saeed Bin Nasir put on 96 for the second wicket as Karachi Harbour built a robust response to city rivals Karachi Urban's first innings score on day two of their derby match in Karachi. After dismissing Karachi Harbour for 367, Zakir made a fluent 93, off 171 balls to lead the riposte. Bin Nasir was unbeaten at day's end on 75, his side still 141 runs behind with seven wickets in hand. Karachi Urban owe a small debt of gratitude to their wicket-keeper Safraz Ahmed, the former U-19 Pakistan captain, who led his side to World Cup glory in 2006. Ahmed's impressive 60 pulled up his side's total to 367 on day two.

Salman Butt led by example as Lahore Shalimar inched closer to Faisalabad's first innings total in a match that threatens to turn into a thriller. Butt, overlooked by Pakistan after the England tour last summer, made 98 as captain, as Lahore ended the day on 240 for nine, still 17 behind Faisalabad's score. Butt fell agonizingly short of a ninth first-class century but a 100-run partnership with Ashraf Ali ensured that three ducks were overcome. Their hopes of gaining any kind of lead rest on veteran allrounder, Mohammad Hussain, unbeaten on a defiant 37. Faisalabad, one of the favourites for the title and finalist for three seasons running, added just one to their overnight score as Junaid Zia, infamous son of former PCB chairman Tauqir Zia, ended with a five-wicket haul.

Prolific middle-order stalwart Shoaib Khan helped Peshawar take control of their match against Rawalpindi on the second day , in Rawalpindi. Khan's unbeaten 88 took Peshawar to 285 for six, already a lead of 55. Khan, the last batsman to score a triple hundred on Pakistan's domestic circuit (300 not out against Quetta in April 2004) was moving sedately to his seventh first-class hundred, having already batted close to five hours. Wajahatullah Wasti and Zulfiqar Jan both provided support through the day and ensured that former U-19 bowler, Riaz Afridi's allround contributions - a brisk 37 following a five-wicket haul - did not go to waste.

Silver League
Shoaib Akhtar, discarded by Pakistan for allegedly not being fit, tore through Abbottabad in an eight-over spell , as Islamabad moved smoothly towards a comprehensive triumph on day two in Islamabad. Akhtar took three for 21 as Abbottabad collapsed to 82 for seven in response to Islamabad's mammoth 526 for seven declared. Abbottabad require an improbable 295 runs to avert the follow-on. Shoaib was backed up by a pair of current and past internationals: Rao Iftikhar Anjum and Azhar Mahmood claimed two wickets each to build on the earlier good work of their batsmen. Having closed overnight at 350 for 1,Earlier, Atif Ashraf (177) was dismissed without adding to his overnight total, but Bilal Asad became the third century-maker of the Islamabad innings, scoring the ninth century of his first-class career off only 150 balls.

Hyderabad moved into a position of strength against Lahore Ravi on day two of their match in Hyderabad, thanks in no small part to a fine century from Rizwan Ahmed. Ahmed and Hanif Malik, the wicket-keeper, put on 167 for the third wicket to lead Hyderabad to 308 for five, a lead already of 43 runs. Malik helped himself to 74 before Shahid Qambrani's unbeaten 59 helped steer Hyderabad from a shaky 250 for five to calmer waters.

Multan's strong pace attack sent Quetta hurtling towards an innings defeat at the Multan Cricket stadium on day two of their match. First their batsmen converted an imposing, overnight 372 for three into 524 for seven declared, before Azharullah, Mohammad Irshad and Abdul Rauf hustled out Quetta for 132. Azharullah ended with four wickets, the other two with two each. Following on, Quetta had made 31 for no loss, needing another 361 to avoid an innings defeat. Earlier, after Usman Tariq (154) and Kamran Hussain (156) fell early, Kashif Naved and Irshad (44 not out) took the chance to get in some batting practice. Faisal Irfan, the Quetta captain, stood tall amid the carnage, ending with six for 103 runs.

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