HBL regain top spot with convincing win
Habib Bank Limited (HBL) returned to the top of group A after a convincing 138-run win against Lahore Ravi at Lahore Country Club. Set 318 to win, Lahore slumped to 58 for 4 on day three and lost three wickets for the addition of only 16 runs on the final morning. Quickfire 30s from Waqas Ahmed and Shahbaz Butt delayed the inevitable as Sajid Shah grabbed 6 for 67 to send the hosts crashing to 179 all out.
Faisalabad produced another solid batting performance against Sui Southern Gas Corporation (SSGC) at Sargodha Stadium, taking three points from a drawn encounter on first innings lead. SSGC were bowled out for 374 in their first innings, and though they just managed to avoid the follow-on, it wasn't enough to prevent Faisalabad taking some points. Helped by a hundred from Usman Arshad, to go with his first-innings 82, Faisalabad reached 254 for 5 as the match closed.
A hundred from former international Zahoor Elahi and a pair of contrasting 90s from Bilal Shafayat and Asif Iqbal helped Pakistan Customs move up from the bottom of the table against Multan at Gymkhana Ground. A seventh-wicket stand of 149 between Iqbal (93) and Yasir Hussain (77) was crucial in taking Customs to 580. That meant they had taken a slender 13-run first-innings lead and three vital points. There was just enough time for Gulraiz Sadaf to hit a second half-century of the match, as Multan began aggressively but it was ultimately a futile one.
Naumanullah scored his second century of the match and shared an unbroken 204-run third-wicket partnership with former Pakistan U-19 star Mansoor Amjad as National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) drew with Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) at the NBP Sports Complex. Dismissing WAPDA for 312, and gaining a 101-run lead, NBP gained valuable batting practice before declaring at 272 for 2. WAPDA could only manage 34 for the loss of opener Masood Asim in the ten overs possible before close.
Naeemuddin scored an unbeaten double-century and got ample assistance from the rest of the Sialkot lineup as the hosts posted a mammoth 666 for 7 against Hyderabad on the final day at Jinnah Stadium. Naeemuddin hit 19 fours and three sixes in his maiden double century and shared four century partnerships in the process. Khalid Mahmood scored a 48-ball 83 towards the end with seven fours and seven sixes to boost the total. Debutant Ayaz Tasawwar hit a worthy 70 and Nayyar Abbas also hit 83 as Sialkot's run-spree and first-innings lead pushed Hyderabad to bottom place in Group A.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) and Abbottabad played out a draw at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium after an Adnan Raza century took the visitors to 212 for 2 in their second innings. Earlier, Abbottabad had taken the first innings lead thanks to a Riaz Kail century, ending up on 446. Kail found support from a number of batsmen and helped his side to a 160-run lead despite a fine bowling performance by Pakistan's Rao Iftikhar Anjum, who ended with 4 for 64.
Mohammad Naved picked up his second five-wicket haul of the match as Karachi Blues were routed for 154, leading Lahore Shalimar to a comfortable 197-run win at Sheikhupura Stadium. The teenaged fast-medium Naved ended with 5 for 74, and an 11-wicket match haul, allowing Shalimar to move up three places to sixth. It also maintained a stunning start to first-class cricket, adding to the nine wickets he took on debut in the last round of matches. Only a couple of gutsy hands from Mansoor Khan and Tariq Haroon enabled Karachi to go past 100, as they dropped to eighth.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) moved back to the top of Group B after completing a comfortable eight-wicket win over Quetta at the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) ground. Quetta could only add 38 to their overnight total while losing four wickets, ending on 202. Offspinner Tahir Khan picked up 5 for 44. That left PIA with 50 to win, which they duly reached in just under 11 overs.
KRL defeated Peshawar by an innings and 70 runs at the Arbab Niaz Stadium as the hosts were bowled out for 251 after following on. Mahfooz Sabri and Nawaz Ahmed put up some resistance with a pair of fighting half centuries, but KRL were always in control of the match after bowling out Peshawar in under 28 overs in the first innings to enforce the follow on.
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