PIA in charge, Islamabad set to crush Quetta
Pakistan International Airlines turned an advantageous position into one of utter dominance, racking up a large total that practically shut out Lahore Shalimar at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. From an overnight 102 with 1, PIA took their total to 440 for 9, a lead of 292. Yasir Hameed converted his half-century into three figures, Shoaib Khan snr followed suite with a century of his own, and fifties from Fahad Iqbal and Faisal Iqbal further drubbed Lahore Shalimar into submission. Mohammad Naved's four wickets took him back to the top of the season's tally, pipping Najaf Shah by one wicket, but PIA are in with a good chance to secure their fourth win of the season.
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited converted a good first day's total into a formidable one, thanks to their lower order, but by stumps at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore Habib Bank Limited had formed a decent start. SNGPL resumed on 281 for 5 and lost their captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, early in the first session. Then Yasir Shah (71), Adnan Akmal (25) and Imran Ali (22) stitched the score to 410. HBL lost an early wicket but Rehan Rafiq and Ahmed Shehzad took the score to 100 for 1.
Karachi Whites came back strongly on day two at the National Bank Sports Complex in Karachi. Yasir Arafat snapped up two wickets to finish with 6 for 53 as Khan Research Laboratories fell from 263 for 8 to 268, after which a century opening stand put Karachi Whites on their way to a lead. The openers Azhar Ali (48) and Saeed Anwar jnr (125) gave the side a good platform and despite a brief wobble just before stumps, Karachi Whites finished the day on 282 for 5. Anwar hit 19 fours and a six in his 167-ball innings, and it was his 16th first-class century.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited didn't fare much better in their second innings, but it may yet prove to be enough against Sui Southern Gas Corporation in Muridke. From an overnight 87 for 3, SSGC were bowled out for 159, after which ZTBL established a 145-run lead by stumps. Saeed Bin Nasir got to his half-century but failed to add on it, and SSGC collapsed from 156 for 5 to 159. ZTBL wobbled at the top before Faisal Naved (45) and Wajahatullah Wasti (36) steadied the ship somewhat. Both batsmen departed just before the close of play but in a low-scoring game, ZTBL's lead looks more than satisfactory.
Islamabad are four wickets away from inflicting a devastating defeat over Quetta. Starring for the home side on a splendid second day at the Diamond Club Ground was Zeeshan Mushaq who, in only his third first-class appearance, converted an overnight century into a double, scoring 230 from 274 balls as the hosts piled up 605 for 9. Islamabad were aided by Ashar Zaidi's 97 and a 62-ball 76 from Ashar Zaidi. Quetta, who had been rolled over for 91 in their first innings, proceeded to slip to 87 for 6. Saad Altaf took 4 for 24 in 13 economical overs.
Day two at the Arbab Niaz Stadium saw Peshawar dismiss Lahore Ravi for 362 and proceed to stumps on 226 for 4. Peshawar took the last five wickets for 64, with Waqar Ahmed finishing with 6 for 120. Waqar removed Ali Haider on his overnight score of 53 to spark a collapse of four wickets for 23 runs, but Waqas Ahmed hit 38 from 28 balls to get the score past 350. Two early wickets did not deter Mohammad Idrees (91) and Jamaluddin (83 not out) from adding 171, a stand that allowed Peshawar to get within 136 of Lahore Ravi's first innings.
Naeemuddin's 112 and 72 from Mohammad Ayub threatened to inflict severe punishment, but Abbottabad dismissed the duo and kept Sialkot's lead to 70 by stumps in Sheikhupura.Naeemuddin and Ayub stitched together a solid partnership that took Sialkot just past Abbottabad's first-innings 243, but the opposition did well to take quick wickets before stumps. Abbottabad's batting has put up some good scores this season, and they will hope the bowlers can strike early on day three to restrict the damage.
Zahid Mansoor and Usman Saeed built on their overnight centuries and Yasim Murtaza allowed himself some quick runs as Rawalpindi continued to dominate Hyderabad at the Niaz Stadium. The efforts of the three batsmen helped Rawalpindi add 193 to their first day's score and, in reply to that 481, Hyderabad went into stumps 70 for 1.
Faisalabad's Zeeshan Arif and Mohammad Salman fell short of centuries but their efforts enabled their team to post a strong first-innings score, following which two wickets before stumps in Sargodha capped off a productive day. Arif went on from an overnight 29 to a patient 276-ball 80, and Salman contributed 93 to a total of 388. Karachi Blues were handed an 81-run opening partnership but Faisalabad took out a couple wickets. Shahzaid Hasan was still batting on 58 from 54 balls.