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February 2, 2009
A mammoth, unbeaten 247 from Misbah-ul-Haq made a mockery of Sui Southern Gas Corporation's first innings score of 135, as Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited extended their lead to 348 to leave the opposition staring at a possible innings defeat in Sheikhpura.
The day began with much work to be done for SNGPL as they were 109 for 3 overnight, but opener Mohammed Hafeez and Misbah were involved in a partnership of 293 for the fourth wicket to crush any hopes of a comeback by SSGC. Hafeez hit 16 fours in his innings of 142, but Misbah was the more aggressive of the two, striking 23 fours and seven sixes. He prolonged the agony, adding a further 119 with Khurram Shehzad, who was unbeaten on 46, to bat SSGC out of the match.
Fast bowlers Mohammad Talha and Mohammed Aamer took four wickets each to help National Bank of Pakistan bowl out Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited for a paltry 147, and Salman Butt followed that up with an aggressive, unbeaten 101 to ensure his team dominated the contest at the Gadaffi stadium.
The result could have been much worse for ZTBL had it not been for their lower order, led by Iftikhar Anjum, which added 75 for the last three wickets after its team had collapsed to 72 for 7. Despite the late resistance, ZTBL still conceded a sizable lead of 78 which was further expanded by a confident Butt-led NBP response in the second innings. Mohammad Khalil, the left-arm medium bowler took 3 for 56, but Butt was unstoppable as he scored at a strike rate of 96.19 to help his team reach 171 for 3 at stumps, a lead of 249. NBP scored their runs at close to five-an-over.
Lahore Shalimar responded well to Pakistan Customs' first innings score of 325 in Lahore, reaching 217 for at stumps after the openers Ahmed Dar and Abid Ali - who remained unbeaten on 77 - added 129.
Mohammad Naved cleaned up the Lahore Shalimar tail to finish with 4 for 120, as the last three wickets yielded just 15 runs. The PC openers started confidently and laid the foundation for a substantial score before offspinner Yasir Hussain took two quick wickets - Dar and Saadullah Ghauri. Zulqarnain Haider, the PC captain and wicketkeeper, followed with the score on 172, dismissed by left-arm spinner Mohammed Hussain, but Raza Ali Dar made an unbeaten 34 to lend good support to Abid Ali and give his team a genuine chance of gaining a significant first innings lead.
Khan Research Laboratories were rescued by their lower-order after they had been reduced to 126 for 5, and secured a lead of 123 before limiting Pakistan International Airlines to 90 for 3 at stumps to hold the advantage in Mirpur.
KRL lost four wickets for 44 runs in an attempt to overhaul PIA's first innings score of 152, as Najaf Shah, the fast bowler who finished with 5 for 103, and medium pacer Kamran Sajid triggered a collapse. However, Pakistan allrounder Sohail Tanvir, who took an eight-for in the first innings, scored a half-century and added 53 for the sixth wicket to take his team past PIA's score. The lower order - the last four wickets - rallied around him to contribute further 96 to give their team a crucial lead.
Tanvir also starred with the ball to take two wickets and reduce PIA to 46 for 3 before opener Khurram Manzoor and Faisal Iqbal added an unbeaten 44 in fairly quick time.
Jahangir Mirza helped Water and Development Authority recover to 226 with a determined 77, and gain a lead of 93 against Karachi Whites at the National Stadium. WDA then had the edge at stumps after fast bowler Azharullah took 3 for 26 to limit the opposition to 102 for 4, a slender lead of just 9 runs.
Mirza added 99 with opener Ahmed Said, who made a 224-ball 63, to lift WDA to 200 for 5. However, another slide ensued; their team lost their last five wickets for 26 runs, as Tanvir Ahmed, the fast bowler, finished with figures of 6 for 77. Still, the lead - WDA had bowled out Karachi Whites for 133 on the first day - proved a significant one as the hosts lost three wickets for one run to be precariously placed at 53 for 4 before an unbeaten 49-run fifth-wicket stand between wicketkeeper Adnan Baig and Asim Kamal helped them recover before the day ended.
Imran Khan led the Quetta fightback, taking 4 for 72, and was ably supported by the other bowlers in helping bowl out Abbottabad for 255 in Islamabad. Abbottabad gained a lead of 91 after dismissing Quetta for 164 on the first day, but they managed to overcome a threat of being all out for a much less as they collapsed from their overnight score of 73 for 2 to 124 for 7.
Imran did the bulk of the damage, taking four of those five wickets but a crucial 81-run stand between Riaz Kail - who top-scored with 90 - and No.9 batsman Asif Ali, who contributed a valuable 28, helped Abbottabad overhaul the Quetta score and regain the advantage. The last pair of Kail and Armaghan Elahi added 45 to take their team to a respectable score and provide their bowlers a cushion of a significant first innings lead. In their second innings, Quetta were 7 for no loss at stumps.
Islamabad were firmly in control at the Niaz Stadium after bowling out Hyderabad for 173 and securing a potentially decisive 85-run lead. They then extended that lead to 198, as the home team were comfortably placed at 113 for 2, with opener Umair Khan unbeaten on 63.
Kamran Hussain, the offspinner, took a career-best 4 for 34, and fellow spinners Imad Wasim and Raheel Majeed took seven wickets between them to severely dent a good start provided by the Hyderabad openers. The opening pair of Aqeel Anjum and Azeem Ghumon added 67 but the Islamabad spinners then triggered a collapse where Hyderabad lost seven wickets for 20 runs. Only No.9 batsman Lal Kumar held firm with 48, and added 51 with wicketkeeper Pir Zulfiqar, to prevent their team from being bowled out for under 100. However, the 173 they mustered in the end was made to look paltry as Islamabad tightened their stranglehold, scoring at over 3.50 an over in the second innings to leave their opponents staring at a stiff target.
Opener Usman Tariq and fast bowler Abdur Rauf were the stars for Multan as they gained control of the contest against Peshawar at the Multan Cricket Stadium. Rauf took 7 for 84 to help his team seize the initiative as Peshawar lost 6 for 41 after being comfortably placed on 300 for 4 at stumps on the first day. Tariq then held one end together amid a disastrous start, where Peshawar were struggling at 19 for 3, and put his team firmly on top, scoring an unbeaten 134, and adding an unfinished 222 for the fourth wicket for the fourth wicket with Naved Yasim, who made 82.
Peshawar's overnight batsmen Mahfooz Sabri and Akbar Badshah fell in fairly quick succession to Rauf, and the tail failed to resist, adding just 22 runs for the last four wickets. However, Multan faltered in their response as left-arm fast bowler Waqar Ahmed and Afaq Ahmed rattled the top order taking three wickets. But Tariq not only helped his team recover but put it firmly on top, striking 16 boundaries and a six and scoring at a healthy strike rate of 62.91.
Rizwan Akbar took 5 for 46 as Karachi Blues capitulated against pace to be bowled out for 134 - 155 shy of Rawalpindi's first innings score of 289 - and were forced to follow on at the Khan Research Laboratory Ground. They did well in their second attempt to reach 90 without loss at stumps, as opener Shahzaib Hasan led the reply with an aggressive 56.
Karachi Blues struggled throughout; the Rawalpindi seamers made breakthroughs at frequent intervals and prevented any threatening partnership from taking root. The top order got starts but failed to consolidate, as Karachi Blues could only manage a highest partnership of 48 - Behram Khan and top-scorer Sheharyar Ghani, who made 33, added those runs for the third wicket. But the resistance stopped there; Karachi Blues lost their next eight wickets for just 50 runs but put in a more determined effort in the second innings to get within 59 runs of overtaking the Rawalpindi score with all wickets intact.
Lahore Ravi and Sialkot were involved in a closely fought encounter at the Jinnah Stadium. Lahore Ravi held a slight edge as their bowling attack, led by medium-fast bowler Aamer Hayat, who took 2 for 45, bagged four wickets for 32 to limit Sialkot to 196 for 5, still 91 adrift of their first innings score of 287.
Sialkot didn't take too long to bowl out the opposition as the final pair of wicketkeeper Ali Raza - who made an unbeaten 57 - and Hayat added just 15 more to their overnight score. Bilawal Bhatti finished with impressive figures of 4 for 87.
The Sialkot batsmen began well, with openers Kamran Younis and Naeemuddin adding 61. Naeemuddin - who was dismissed for 64 - put on a further 74 runs with Haris Sohail but the two failed to build on their partnership. Once the stand was broken, Sialkot lost two quick wickets before Ayaz Tasawwar and Nadeem Javed eased the pressure somewhat in an unbeaten 29-run stand.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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