Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, 2nd round, 4th day January 5, 2009

NBP move to the top with win

Cricinfo staff

Group A

Beginning the day at 42 for 3, it was a tough challenge for Pakistan International Airlines to chase 321 against National Bank of Pakistan in Karachi. The middle order put up a fight, but despite that they could manage only 208. NBP gained six points from the win - PIA's narrow two-run first-innings lead denied them the full nine points - to gain a clear lead in Group A. Wahab Riaz, who took the three wickets on the third day, finished with four in the innings, while the promising Mohammad Aamer took three to go with his six in the first innings, in what his just his third first-class game. For PIA, captain Faisal Iqbal top scored with 52.

At the Quaid-e-Azam Park, Sui Southern Gas Corporation bagged three points - thanks to their first-innings lead - from their draw against Karachi Whites. Offspinner Haaris Ayaz gave SSGC a sniff at victory by striking four quick blows - his 4 for 63 was a career-best - to leave the hosts at 199 for 8 in their second innings. However, the last two pairs were to frustrate SSGC. Seventeen-year-old Shahzaib Ahmed scored his maiden first-class half-century at No. 10 - an unbeaten 51 - and added 66 with Azam Hussain (33) and 27 with last-man Malik Aftab, who made 2 off 41 balls. A target of 260 was way out of reach for SSGC, who lost two wickets in their 18 overs before close.

Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited and Lahore Shalimarmade a contest out of what could have been another dull draw in in Lahore. Resuming on 331 for 7, Lahore declared after blitzing 45 runs in 4.3 overs - Salman Rahat hit five fours in his 21-ball 30. But they might have been regretting the decision after ZTBL's openers, Afaq Raheem and Inam-ul-Haq, smashed centuries. The two set the platform with a 257-run opening stand. Haq made 104, while Raheem scored a brisk 196-ball 151. Debutant Ghulam Mustafa's four strikes helped in slowing down ZTBL's quest for the first-innings lead, and despite a run-a-ball 25 from Zohaib Khan and Mohammad Khalil's two sixes in seven balls, ZTBL were 12 short of Lahore's total at 364 for 7. Those seven were the only wickets to fall in the day, which saw 409 runs scored in 78.4 overs.

Both Khan Research Laboratories and Water and Power Development Authority have no points from two games after their weather-marred encounter in Rawalpindi. No play took place on the second and third days, and in the 29.1 overs possible on the final day, WAPDA, resuming on 217 for 5, were bundled out for 302. Bilal Khilji, resuming on 59, was lucky to get to his century before running out of partners. KRL scored 18 for the loss of one wickets in the five overs their batsmen faced in the four-day game.

Group B

Faisalabad needed only 31 overs on the final day to complete a resounding innings-and-69-run win over Hyderabad at the Iqbal Stadium. Resuming on 19 for 2, Hyderabad were dismissed for 106, with Ahmed Hayat (3-43), Zulqarnain (3-36) and Saadat Munir (4-20) sharing the spoils and reaffirming the team's decision to score quickly and declare early, at 354 for 3, in the first innings - a lead of 175 proved sufficient.

Sialkot's overnight pair of Haris Sohail and Mohammad Ayub scored the remaining 76 runs to complete a seven-wicket win over Karachi Blues at the National Stadium. The duo needed only 15.3 overs to seal the win, but surprisingly the two batsmen played rather contrastingly from their efforts on the third day. Mohammad Ayub had dominated the unbroken 53-run stand, scoring 42, but it was Haris Sohail who did the bulk of the scoring on the final day. Overnight on 13 from 78 balls, Sohail almost caught up with his partner, scoring 50 off 50 balls. The 63 was the his fourth first-class fifty in his sixth innings, while his captain Ayub stayed unbeaten on 69.

Abbottabad went without batting in their game against Rawalpindi in Islamabad, with a second successive day without play on Monday. Rawalpindi had been dismissed for 325 in their first innings on the second day.

The match between Quetta and Multan, which began a day late at the Multan Cricket Stadium, is set for a thrilling finish. The hosts will begin their fourth innings needing 155 to win - the totals in the first three were 210, 193 and 137. Overnight on 80 for 4, Rameez Alam, resuming on 24, stayed firm at one end during Multan's first innings. Despite his unbeaten 82, Multan fell 17 short of Quetta's first-innings score. Nazar Hussain, who took all four overnight wickets, added two more to finish with career-best figures. Rameez got support from Ansar Javed (32) and No. 9 Zulfiqar Babar (42), with whom he added 78 for the eighth wicket. Javed and Babar starred with the ball as well, taking seven wickets between them to bundle out Quetta for 137 - Babar's 4 for 37 was his best innings haul. In an innings which had five ducks, Quetta's captain Nasim Khan scored 71, his second half-century of the game.

There was no play on the third day as well between Islamabad and Peshwar at the Marghzar Cricket Ground. Put in by Peshawar, the hosts were at 47 for 2.