Bowlers go on a rampage
Nineteen wickets fell on the opening day of the fourth round Pentangular Cup 2007 match between Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and Sind here at the UBL Sports Complex, Karachi.
Winning the toss and batting first, HBL, fielding a star-studded side, were dismissed for a paltry 192 inside 56 overs. However, the side hit back strongly to have Sind reeling at 109 with only one wicket remaining.
Decently placed at 91 for the loss of two wickets, HBL looked set to put together up a healthy total with the likes of Hasan Raza and Shahid Afridi in the ranks.
However, left-armer Azam Hussain and leg-spinner Rizwan Ahmed strangled the middle order by taking regular wickets as none of the HBL batsman barring Shahid Afridi, who scored 58 off 47 balls, put up a decent show. Former Test opener Taufiq Umer (31) and Riffatullah Mohammad (22) were the other two batsmen who managed to cross the 20-mark.
Azam finished the innings with four wickets for 46 runs while Rizwan took three for 11 off his four overs.
Sind's reply got off to a disastrous start as they lost the first three wickets with only four runs on the board. Things did not improve much for Sind as Irfan Fazil and Pakistan spinner Abdur Rehman shared seven wickets to restrict the weakened batting line-up. Faisal Iqbal scored a patient 27 while Rizwan was unbeaten on 46 at close.
In the other fourth round match of the Pentangular Cup 2007, Punjab ended the first day on 30 for one after dismissing the combined North West Frontier Province-Baluchistan team for only 191 at the National Stadium Karachi.
Opener Imran Nazir (9) was the man out for Punjab with Mohammad Hafeez and nightwatchman Imran Khalid unbeaten on 12 and one respectively.
Earlier, put into bat, the NWFP-Baluchistan team failed to build partnerships as the Punjab bowlers made regular inroads. Opener Shoaib Khan (39), Adnan Raes (45) and Umar Javed (26) made useful contributions but NWFP lost their last six wickets for 32 runs due to intelligent left arm spin of Imran Khalid.
Khalid finished with five for 32 while Imran Ali and Zohaib Ahmed bagged a brace each. The NWFP-Baluchistan team needs to win this match as well as the next one to have a chance of toppling HBL at the top of the table