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December 7, 2007
Opting to bat first, Karachi Whites did well to reach 279 for 7 against Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) at the National Stadium after losing the first six wickets for only 177 runs. Wajihuddin (73) shared a 51-run second-wicket partnership with opener Asad Shafiq (22), and a 55-run stand with Asim Kamal whose poor form with the bat continued as he was dismissed for 22. However, Afsar Nawaz continued his good run with an unbeaten 85 and shared an 87-run seventh-wicket partnership with Tanvir Ahmed (38) to take Karachi past the 200-mark.
Fawad Alam returned to his century-making ways as he hit an unbeaten 104 and helped National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) compile 328 for 5 against Hyderabad at Niaz Stadium. In a state of bother at 66 for 3, NBP were rescued by Alam who joined the tournament's top-scorer Naumanullah - who had 772 runs prior to this match - and posted 100 runs for the fourth wicket before Naumanullah was dismissed for 89. Alam then joined hands with Qaiser Abbas, who contributed 70 in a fifth-wicket partnership of 126 runs as NBP look for another huge first-innings total.
At the Gaddafi Stadium, centuries by Ali Haider and Ashraf Ali enabled Lahore Ravi to score 295 for 4 against Multan. Lahore collapsed to 60 for 4, before Haider rescued them with his maiden first-class hundred. He faced 196 balls for his unbeaten 121 while Ashraf's unbeaten 111 took 195 balls. The unbeaten 235-run partnership allowed Lahore to look for a big total on a batsmen-friendly pitch.
Faisalabad were bowled out for a modest 193 by Sialkot after being put in to bat at the Sheikhupura Stadium. In reply, Sialkot lost three wickets before reaching 63. Faisalabad were undone by the pace of Mohammad Imran, who took 6 for 42 runs in under 15 overs. From 91 for 6 at one stage, Faisalabad managed to reach 193 thanks to a 99-run seventh-wicket partnership between Mohammad Salman (63) and Ahmed Hayat (38) before losing the last four wickets for only three runs. Asad Zarar picked up all three wickets in Sialkot's innings but Faisalabad will have to bowl exceptionally well to avoid a first-innings deficit.
The Asghar Ali Shah Stadium witnessed a run-glut as Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) hammered 427 for 2 against Karachi Blues. Umar Akmal, younger brother of Pakistan wicket keeper Kamran Akmal, scored an unbeaten 215 off only 187 deliveries and shared a 311-run second-wicket partnership with Mohammad Hafeez (145) after SNGPL won he toss and decided to bat.
Azhar Ali scored his fourth century of the season and Saeed Anwar his third as Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) put on 345 for 3 against Islamabad at the Diamond Cricket Club Ground. Azhar and Anwar put on 259 runs for the second wicket before Anwar was dismissed for 144, his 12th century, that came off 173 deliveries with 15 fours and two sixes. Azhar remained unbeaten on 123 as KRL recovered well after losing their captain Mohammad Wasim for only 17.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) were given an opening stand of 109 against Abbottabad at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium through Agha Sabir (89) and captain Khurram Manzoor (52). Kamran Sajid contributed exactly 50 later to enable PIA to reach a healthy 223 for 4 at close on the opening day.
Bottom-placed Quetta were bowled out for a poor 173 against Rawalpindi at the KRL Stadium. With half the side back in the pavillion for 55, it was left to a 57-run partnership between Shoaib Khan (60) and Jalat Khan (59*) to take Quetta past 100. Jalat then put on 61 with the last four batsmen to take his side to a respectable total. Rawalpindi's openers knocked off 41 runs without being separated by close of play.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) lost only two wickets in the 59.4 overs possible at Arbab Niaz Stadium against Peshawar, scoring 205 for 2. Inam-ul-Haq scored an unbeaten 87 while Adnan Raza retired hurt just before close for 51.
© Daily News
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