Big wins for SNGPL and Abbottabad
Sui Southern Gas Corporation collapsed to a massive innings defeat against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines in Sheikhpura. Misbah-ul-Haq failed to add to his overnight score of 247, but his team had stamped its authority over the match as a win looked imminent at the end of the second day. SNGPL declared on 494 for 6 - a lead of 361 - and bowled out SSGC for a paltry 160, crushing any hopes they may have had of making the opposition bat again. SSGC struggled from the outset, losing their first wicket for no score, and although Asif Zakir and Imran Abbas added 52 for the second wicket, there was little show of support from the rest. Only wicketkeeper Ahmed Zeeshan resisted with 52, but legspinner Yasir Shah - 3 for 63 - and fast bowler Imran Ali, who took 2 for 44, hastened the slide to conclude a resounding win for SNGPL.
Salman Butt's aggressive 202, and Mohammad Talha's four-wicket burst put National Bank of Pakistan in a commanding position against Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited at the Gaddafi Stadium. Butt consolidated his team's dominance, scoring at a strike rate of almost 90 to put the match completely out of ZTBL's reach as NBP declared on 358 for 6, setting an improbable target of 437. ZTBL's task was made even more difficult as fast bowler Mohammad Talha had them reeling at 12 for 3. Wahab Riaz then dismissed Aamer Bashir with the score on 49 before Talha broke a 38-run fourth-wicket partnership between Umar Javed - who remained unbeaten on 29 - and wicketkeeper Shakeel Ansar, leaving ZTBL at 87 for 5 and staring at a massive defeat.
Yasir Hussain, the offspinner, took 7 for 91 to help Pakistan Customs bowl out Lahore Shalimar for 360, limiting their first innings lead to 35. Mohammad Hussain then made an important, unbeaten half-century to take Pakistan Customs to 167 for 3 at stumps - a lead of 132 - and provide them a slight advantage at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Overnight batsmen Abid Ali, who made 114, and Raza Ali Dar added 116 for the fourth wicket to take Lahore Shalimar to a comfortable position at 288 for 3. But the Pakistan Customs bowlers then triggered a collapse, taking the remaining seven wickets for just 52 runs as the batsmen who followed failed to resist. In their second innings, Pakistan Customs lost each of the three wickets after their batsmen had got starts, but Hussain and Zahoor Elahi added an unbeaten 65 for the fourth wicket, scoring at a healthy rate, to hand their team the edge.
Sohail Tanvir took 7 for 120 - and 15 wickets in the match - to set up what should be a comfortable win for Khan Research Laboratories against Pakistan International Airlines in Mirpur. A 72-run third-wicket partnership between Khurram Manzoor and Fahad Iqbal had helped PIA recover to 118 for 3. However, frequent breakthroughs from Tanvir and fast bowler Yasir Ali pegged them back, and although the last two wickets added 56 to take them to 248, a target of 127 has proved a touch too little to seriously test the KRL batsmen. KRL ended the day on 73 for 2 - just 54 runs short of victory - after openers Saeed Anwar jnr and Bazid Khan gave them a brisk start.
Water and Power Development Authority's hopes rest entirely on Bilal Khilji - unbeaten on 41 - as they struggled to 99 for 7 against Karachi Whites in pursuit of 170 for victory at the National Stadium. Karachi Whites recovered to 262 after finding themselves in a much precarious situation at 102 for 5. Fast bowler Azharullah took 4 for 83 to give his team a shot at chasing a much lower target but a lower-order resistance, led by Karachi Whites' captain Khalid Latif, who made 81, provided his team a fighting chance of pulling off an unlikely win. The last three Karachi Whites wickets yielded 114 runs that could prove decisive in the outcome. In response, the WAPDA batsmen faltered from the outset, collapsing to the pace of Tanvir Ahmed and Malik Aftab - who took three wickets each - to find themselves reeling at 73 for 7. Khilji held firm amid wickets falling at the other end, and took his team to win 71 runs of the target with Azharullah batting on 11.
Noor-ul-Amin and Akmal Khan - both spinners - took seven wickets between them to help Abbottabad defeat Quetta comprehensively by ten wickets in Islamabad. Quetta began the third day 84 runs adrift of Abbottabad's first innings lead of 91, and did well at the start as openers Shahzad Tareen and Taimur Ali added 66. Their partnership marked the only highlight for Quetta as they were bowled out for 173, with Noor-ul-Amin following up his impressive display in the first innings with 4 for 56 in the second. The highest subsequent stand was worth just 22 as Akmal Khan ably supported his fellow spinner, capturing three middle-order wickets. Set a target of 83, the Abbottabad openers Hammad Ali and Fahad Khan raced to a victory, taking just ten overs to complete the job.
Three wickets within a space of 30 runs put Islamabad on top against Hyderabad, who were set a daunting target of 418 at the Niaz Stadium. Islamabad were 113 for 2 overnight - after gaining a lead of 85 in the first innings - and consolidated their dominant position despite losing wickets at regular intervals. Fast bowler Lal Kumar took 4 for 83, and was well supported by offspinner Shoaib Laghari - who took 3 for 77 - as Hyderabad limited the opposition to 206 for 7 at one stage. But an unbeaten eighth-wicket stand of 123 between Rauf Akbar, who top-scored with 77, and half-centurion Imad Wasim put the game firmly in Islamabad's grasp. Hyderabad faltered in their run-chase, losing opener Aqeel Anjum for 43, before Saad Altaf took two wickets to leave them staring at a possible defeat.
Centuries from Usman Tariq and Naved Yasin put Multan firmly in control against Peshwar at the Multan Cricket Stadium. The two were involved in a mammoth 283-run partnership for the fourth wicket, and although their team lost five wickets for 73 runs, the lower-order batted well with wicketkeeper Gulraiz Sadaf to stretch their team's lead to 110. Afaq Ahmed was Peshawar's top performer with 3 for 92. However, his team struggled in the second innings, losing opener Israrullah, caught off Ansar Javed, with the score on 2, and Mohammad Idress, bowled by Abdur Rauf, on 29. Naved Khan made an unbeaten 20, and with his team still 69 runs short of overhauling the lead, Peshwar's hopes for a recovery will rest on him.
At the Khan Research Laboratory Ground, Rawalpindi ended a tough, yet satisfactory day against Karachi Blues, limiting them to 297 for 6 after enforcing the follow-on. Karachi Blues, who began 155 short, were given an excellent start by openers Atif Ali and Shahzaib Hasan, who top-scored with 95. However, frequent breakthroughs following their separation undermined their 129-run stand as the middle-order batsmen, with the exception of Sheharyar Ghani who made 74, failed to build on starts. Fast bowlers Mohammad Rameez and Mohammad Ayaz took two wickets each to prevent any threatening partnership from taking root and helping their team retain the advantage with Karachi Blues 142 ahead and six down.
A 93-run sixth-wicket stand between Ayaz Tassawar, who top-scored with 93, and Nadeem Javed, coupled with useful contributions from the lower order, helped Sialkot seize the initiative against Lahore Ravi at the Jinnah Stadium. The day began with both teams on an even keel but Tassawar's innings, and a further 115 runs for the last four Sialkot wickets, including an unbeaten 41 by wicketkeeper Kaleem Ahmed, helped their team gain a crucial 98-run first innings lead. Sohail Ahmed, who bowls left-arm spin, starred with the ball, taking 4 for 67. In their second innings, Lahore Ravi started well with openers Sohail and Babar Manzoor adding 52, but a timely the latter's timely wicket at the death provided a satisfying end to the day for Sialkot.