PIA and SNGPL post early wins
A resolute display by the Multan batsmen lifted their team's score considerably against Karachi Whites at the United Bank Limited (UBL) Sports Complex . Facing a Whites total of 391, Multan made a strong reply by reaching 274 for the loss of five wickets by the close of play. They are, however, still 117 behind Whites and will have to continue in the same vein if they intend to save the match or at least gain the three first-innings lead points. Debutant Rameez Alam made a valuable 60, off 166 balls in almost four and a quarter hours with the help of four fours. With Ansar Javed (24), he first added 54 for the third wicket and another 81 for the fourth with Naved Yasin, whose 49 came off 92 balls with seven fours. Sohaib Maqsood and wicketkeeper Gulraiz Sadaf later posted 115 for the unbroken sixth-wicket stand. The 20-year-old Sohaib scored his maiden half-century, making 85 off 98 balls in a little over two hours with seven fours and three sixes. Gulraiz, who has recently represented the Pakistan Under-19 team, was unbeaten at 32 at stumps.
Habib Bank Limited (HBL) needed another 283 to win against Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) with seven wickets in hand at the Sheikhupura Stadium . After WAPDA, third placed in the table behind HBL and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), had acquired a crucial 56 runs first-innings lead, they scored 274 in their second innings getting an overall lead of 330. Habib Bank slid to 48 for 3 in their second innings. Althoug slow left-armer Aslam Qureshi took 5 for 57 yesterday to complete a match haul of 10 for 85, the WAPDA batsmen flourished. There were three individual half-centuries, of which Tariq Aziz's 68 was the highest. From 48 for 5, Tariq and Sarfraz Ahmed (52) lifted WAPDA with a sixth-wicket stand of 95. Nawaz Sardar (42) and Farooq Iqbal (51) added 75 runs for the eighth.
At Iqbal Stadium , Faisalabad required another 118 to win with all ten second innings wickets in hand, after having bowled Hyderabad out for a poor 160 in their second innings. Seamer Asad Zarar took 10 wickets in the match for Faisalabad, with figures of 5 for 67 and 5 for 47.
Spurred by a maiden first-class century by opener Hasnain Abbas (117), Pakistan Customs made 382 for 7 in their second innings, setting Sialkot a target of 303 at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot. Sialkot were at 19 for 1 at stumps. Hasnain's first-wicket partnership with offspinner Murtaza Hussain, who came in as the night-watchman, yielded 164 runs. Murtaza scored 56 and later, Rehan Rafiq contributed 55.
Abbottabad piled on the agony, as they reached a total of 432 for 9 in their first innings against Karachi Blues, here at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium . Blues had earlier made an impressive 363 in their first innings, to which Abbottabad had replied with 198 for 4 by the close on the second day. Although they made a total in excess of 400, Abbottabad however were actually only 69 ahead of the visitors. Riaz Kail reached his maiden first-class century, his 112 coming off 201 balls with 20 fours. With Mohammad Kashif his fifth-wicket stand was worth 104. Kashif, with 72 off 162 balls with ten fours and later Iftikhar Mahmood, with a splendid 88 not out with ten boundaries, both achieved their highest first-class scores. Iftikhar was involved in several useful partnerships with the tailenders. Blues' left-arm spinner Azam Hussain sent down as many as 60 overs in the Abbottabad innings and picked up 4 for 128.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) jumped up to the first spot again as they defeated then table leaders Islamabad by a whopping innings and 169 runs, inside three days at the Diamond Cricket Club Ground in Islamabad. Facing a PIA first-innings total of 404 for 8 declared, Islamabad crashed to poor scores of 126 and 109 in reply after being forced to follow-on. PIA's seamer Aizaz Cheema was at his devastating best, taking 7 for 24 in the first and 4 for 48 in the second innings to attain a match haul of 11 wickets for a mere 77 runs. Former Pakistan Under-19 star Anwar Ali, after having made his career-best score of 74 on the second day, helped Aizaz bundle out Islamabad with figures of 5 for 25 runs in just eight overs with his right-arm fast-medium.
At the Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar, Sui Northern Gas Pipeline (SNGPL) also gained the same number of points as PIA and Islamabad - 36 each - as they comfortably defeated Peshawar by ten wickets with a day to spare. Facing a first-innings deficit of 140, Peshawar were bowled out for 154 and that gave SNGPL a target of just 15 to win. Seamer Imran Ali excelled for the winners with 5 for 78.
Although they lost eight second innings wickets for 175 runs at the Mirpur Cricket Stadium , Rawalpindi enhanced their overall lead against Lahore Shalimar to 312 with a full day to go.
The Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) openers had a field day against an ineffective Quetta bowling attack, at the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) Stadium in Rawalpindi, as they compiled 265 runs. Quetta had earlier piled up a massive score of 460 for 9 declared. ZTBL opener Afaq Rahim from Mirpur scored his sixth hundred and his highest, as he made an unbeaten 151 off 288 balls in 353 minutes with 20 fours. Umar Javed, with an unbeaten 101 off 246 balls that included six fours and a six, incidentally scored his maiden century in first-class cricket. ZTBL, however, are still 195 behind Quetta.