HBL, PIA retain top positions after wins
National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) easily defeated Pakistan Customs by 214 runs at the NBP Sports Complex. Customs, set a target of 410 to win, fell way behind and, after a third-wicket partnership of 100 between Asif Iqbal and Bilal Shafayat, lost their last seven wickets for only 85 runs. Tahir Mughal took 7 for 59 through some devastating bowling as Customs crashed to 195 all out. With two wickets in the first innings, the 30-year-old Tahir 9 for 125 in the match. Bilal scored 63 runs off only 76 balls with 10 fours and a six while Iqbal contributed 63. Later, Yasir Shah chipped in with a quick 31but could not avoid the inevitable as Customs folded in 60 overs.
Hyderabad were denied a win by Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) at the Niaz Stadium as the latter, after having been set a target of 458, batted their way to safety with 360 for 6 by close of the match. An opening partnership of 128 set the tone for the day as WAPDA batsmen delivered a much-improved performance in the second innings. Ahmed Said top scored with 80 while his opening partner Kashif Rashid scored 71. Zulqarnain Haider, the wicketkeeper, remained unbeaten on 51 off 115 balls and shared a 96-run sixth-wicket partnership with Kashif Raza to take WAPDA to safety.
Habib Bank Limited (HBL) retained their position at the top of the table as they beat Multan by two wickets at the Multan Cricket Stadium. HBL made heavy weather of their target of 132 and lost eight wickets for 104 runs before finally managing to win. A heroic unbeaten 55 from Hasan Raza, their captain, took HBL through. Ansar Javed and Rahat Ali, both left-arm medium-fast bowlers, almost pulled off an exciting win for Multan. Both captured four wickets apiece with Ansar conceding 49 runs from his 14 overs and Rahat only 31 runs in 13 overs.
After having conceded an 18-run lead to Sialkot, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) managed to draw the match by scoring 320 for 4 in their second innings at the Jinnah Stadium. Opening batsman Asif Zakir made amends for missing a hundred in the first innings by making a monumental 170 in the second, his seventh first-class century. He faced only 258 deliveries and hit 20 fours while sharing valuable partnerships with all batsmen.
Despite a double-century by Asad Shafiq, Karachi Whites failed to attain a first-innings lead over Faisalabad on the final day of their match at the Iqbal Stadium. Chasing Faisalabad's 499, Karachi put up a brave effort but fell short by 48 runs. Shafiq batted for over eight and a half hours and faced 350 balls for his 223, which included 25 fours and two sixes. By close, Faisalabad had reached 100 for 3 in their second innings after having lost all the wickets with only 17 runs on the board. A splendid unbroken stand of 83 for the fourth wicket between Imran Ali (37) and first innings centurion Mohammad Salman (49) took them to safety.
An unbroken 97-run sixth-wicket partnership saved Karachi Blues from an innings defeat against Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) at the KRL Stadium. Resuming on 217 for 7 in their first-innings, Karachi lost their last three wickets for one run and conceded a lead of 185. Following on, Karachi were reeling at 147 for 5 but Faraz Patel and Shadab Kabir scored unbeaten half-centuries to take their team to 244 without losing any more wickets.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) retained their position at the top of the table after gaining a 128-run first-innings lead over Lahore Shalimar at the Gaddafi Stadium. Lahore stretched their first-innings score to 436 after resuming on 315 for 6 overnight. Sibtain Raza, batting at No 9, scored an 80-ball 85 with 14 fours and a six to take Lahore past 400. Fazl-e-Akbar, former Pakistan international, finished with 7 for 103. With a first-innings lead and three points taken, PIA opted for batting practice, notching up a score of 245 for 2 with Khurram Manzoor (108) and Kamran Sajid (103*) adding 223 runs for the second wicket.
Peshawar were denied a win by Quetta even after forcing the latter to follow-on at the Arbab Niaz Stadium. Quetta had surrended a lead of 164 but, in their second innings, compiled 360 for 9 with ten of their batsmen going into double figures and taking their team to safety.
At the Mirpur Cricket Stadium, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) took a first-innings lead over Rawalpindi after dismissing them for 242. Mohammad Khalil grabbed four wickets while Inam-ul-Haq captured three for ZTBL. Barring Usama Shahroon and Usman Saeed, none of the Rawalpindi batsmen were able to make an impact.
There was play at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium on the last two day's of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline's (SNGPL) match against Abbottabad. SNGPL had declared their first-innings on 317 for 5 after an unbeaten 100 by Yasir Arafat and Umar Akmal's 97. In reply, thanks to identical scores of 115 not out by vice-captain Wajid Ali and captain Adnan Raees, Abbottabad managed 355 for 2 in just 69 overs to earn a first-innings lead as well as three points.
|Sui Sthn Gas||7||2||2||0||3||0||21|