Bad weather hampers first day's play
National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) were all out for 265 on the opening day of their eighth round match against Pakistan Customs at the NBP Sports Complex. In reply, Customs had lost two wickets with 23 runs on the board. From a precarious 72 for 5, NBP were rescued by a 139-run sixth-wicket partnership between Fawad Alam and Qaiser Abbas who scored 69 each. Tahir Mughal's quickfire 32 towards the end and 37 extras also boosted NBP's total. Tahir Maqsood grabbed five wickets for Customs but Wahab Riaz fought back for NBP to leave Customs in a spot of bother after the seven overs possible before close.
At Niaz Stadium, bottom-placed Hyderabad did well to post 277 for 5 in their match against Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). A 79-run opening partnership built a foundation as all the Hyderabad batsmen bar Shahid Qambrani contributed to the total. An unbroken 91-run sixth-wicket partnership between allrounder Rizwan Ahmed (60*)and Jamshed Baig (51*) allowed the hosts to end the first day in a strong position.
Kamran Hussain and Fahad Masood shared seven wickets as Multan were restricted to 218 for 9 against group leaders Habib Bank Limited (HBL) at Multan Cricket Stadium. After reaching 74 for 1, Multan kept losing wickets regularly as five of their batsmen were dismissed in their twenties. Usman Tariq, Multan's captain, top-scored with 39 and HBL look set to continue their domination on the second day.
Only 34 overs play was possible at the Jinnah Stadium where Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) lost four wickets for 92 runs against Sialkot after being put into bat. A decent start saw SSGC reach 54 for 1 but the dismissal of Saeed bin Nasir and Mohammad Zafar - both without scoring - left them in trouble. Opener Asif Zakir, however, is still unbeaten on 38 and SSGC will be hoping for a long stay in the middle from him on the second day.
Asif Hussain scored an unbeaten century as fifth-placed Faisalabad had a satisfying day at Iqbal Stadium where they scored 260 for 4 against Karachi Whites. Being put into bat, Faisalabad were in a state of bother at 98 for 4 but an unbroken 162-run partnership between Hussain and Imran Ahmed sealed the fate on the opening day.
Only 23.1 overs play was possible in the match between Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) and Karachi Blues at the KRL Stadium due to bad weather. After having been sent in, KRL managed 66 runs without losing any wickets. Azhar Ali was unbeaten on 25 off 79 balls with two fours while KRL's captain Mohammad Wasim, former Test player, scored 37 off 61 deliveries.
Group B leaders Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) scored 257 for two at the Gaddafi Stadium against Lahore Shalimar. A century by opener Agha Sabir, who faced 164 balls and hit 20 fours and a six and an opening partnership worth 116 runs allowed PIA to post a decent first-day total. Khurram Manzoor, PIA's captain, contributed 56 to the partnership.
Play was restricted to 48 overs on the first day at the Arbab Niaz Stadium where Peshawar crawled to 121 for 5 against bottom-placed Quetta. Although Fawad Ali scored an aggressive half century, Peshawar batsmen never looked in control of proceedings as Quetta's opening bowlers, Faisal Irfan and Nazar Hussain, shared the wickets that fell.