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November 15, 2008
Punjab 526 for 8 dec (Ayub 117, Raza 113, Azhar Ali 104, Shehzad 93*) and 17 for 5 (Asad 3-1, Hussain 2-16) drew with Baluchistan 271 (Khilji 70, Rehman 4-85) and 330 (Bin Nasir 119, Hussain 52, Hafeez 3-67)
Baluchistan nearly pulled off what would have been a fantastic win after following on and taking five wickets in Punjab's chase of 76. Bad light stopped play 3.3 overs in to the chase at which point Punjab were at 17 for 5.
At the start of day four, Baluchistan were struggling in their follow-on at 42 for 2. They soon slipped to 45 for 3 when Mohammad Talha had Zulfiqar Babar caught behind for a duck. It looked like Punjab would get their first win of the tournament by an innings when the first-innings top scorer Bilal Khilji fell for 13. But No. 6 Saeed Bin Nasir began a rescue effort with a fairly attacking innings; he scored 16 fours and two sixes in 150-ball 119. He added 45 with Saeed Anwar jnr and 106 with Kamran Hussain (52). But it was Hussain's eight-wicket stand with Gulraiz Sadaf (48) that gave Baluchistan the lead.
Punjab would have thought the match was sealed when they needed a little over four an over at the start of the chase. Even when they lost their first wicket with ten on the board, things looked upbeat. But then four wickets fell - Asad Ali took two in two balls - with the score at 17. The match at this point could have gone either way though Punjab may have chosen to be cautious rather than lose any more wickets. In the end bad light ended what would have been an exciting finish. Asad took 3 for 1 and and Hussain took 2 for 16.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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