Sialkot crush Hyderabad by an innings
A dogged unbeaten century from Khaqan Arsal and Ahmed Shehzad's 73 helped Habib Bank Limited earn a draw against Pakistan International Airlines at the Union Bank Limited sports complex. Needing 385 to win, HBL resumed the final day on 35 for 1 and lost Farhan Iqbal (24) very early. Shehzad and Arsal then added 110, before Shehzad fell to Najaf Shah at 146. Aftab Alam's dismissal at 189 was followed up by another wicket eight runs later, but Arsal and his captain Younis Khan (17 not out) batted out the rest of the day. It was Arsal's fourth first-class century.
A draw loomed when play began on day four at the Quaid-e-Azam park, and there was no shift in plan. Pakistan Customs resumed their second innings on 115 for 3, and further wickets from Karachi Whites in the morning session only turned them more defensive. As Mohammad Sami crossed a dour fifty, interest grew as to whether he would get a maiden first-class hundred. It was not to be, as Azam Hussain bowled him for a 281-ball 96, a personal best for Sami. Misbah Khan took four wickets for Karachi before Customs finished the day 312 for 8.
Set an extremely difficult 388 with less than two sessions left on the final day in Karachi, National Bank of Pakistan batted out a draw. Uzair-ul-Haq had snapped up Saeed Bin Nasir for 65 early and then helped bowl Sui Southern Gas Corporation out for 201 from an overnight 144 for 5, but the time taken left NBP facing a mountain. Despite losing Nasir Jamshed for 0, their batsmen scored at a healthy clip but victory was never really on the cards. Salman Butt (39 from 41 balls), Umar Amin (52 from 59) and Naumanullah (75 not out from 99) all chipped in and NBP finished on 204 for 3. There was some reward for a strong domestic season for Amin, who was called up in Pakistan's 15-man squad for the first ODI against Sri Lanka on January 21 in Karachi. No such luck for Jamshed, however, who lost out again to Khurram Manzoor.
Centuries to Aamer Sajjad and Bilal Khilji lit up the final day's play at the Gaddafi Stadium. Lahore Shalimar declared at 477 for 7, after adding 16 to their total, and removed Water and Power Development Authority's openers for 0 apiece, but couldn't thwart Sajjad and Khilji. Nawaz Sardar scored 42 to follow a first-innings century and Sajjad (118) and Khilji (116 not out) played good hands. A result was always going to be next to impossible in a high-scoring, three-innings match.
Sialkot duly completed an innings defeat on Hyderabad at the Jinnah Stadium. Having reduced Hyderabad to 59 for 8 before stumps, Sialkot's bowlers needed nine overs to wrap up the innings for 102. Sarmad Anwar took the last wicket to finish with 4 for 32. Sialkot's win move them to second in the points table.
Karachi Blues needed wickets, and fast, on day four at the National Stadium, to try and notch up a win. But Ashraf Ali's unbeaten 124 and a slow 63 from Rana Adnan ate up enough time to ensure Lahore Ravi clinched a draw. Lahore resumed on 184 for 4 and batted the whole day, finishing on 374 for 8. Eight bowlers were used, but it wasn't enough for Karachi, who stay at No. 3.
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