Islamabad crush Quetta
Pakistan International Airlines declared their innings first thing in the morning, and by stumps at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground were five wickets away from victory. Lahore Shalimar began their second innings trailing PIA by 292 runs and promptly slumped to 38 for 3. Mohammad Saad (41) and Abid Ali (71 not out) offered resistance but Lahore are up against it going into the final day.
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited failed to really go for the jugular, but still held the upper hand over Habib Bank Limited on day three at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Trailing by 300 when they resumed in the first session, HBL lost Rehan Rafiq (56) and Ahmed Shehzad (40) early and proceeded to slip from 100 for 1 to 130 for 5. Kamran Hussain (50) and Abdur Rehman (79 not out) combined to limit the damage and HBL took stumps on 307 for 8, still behind by 103. Imran Ali was the most successful bowler for SNGPL with 4 for 80.
Karachi Whites finished day three at the National Bank Sports Complex in Karachi on top. They did well by restricting Khan Research Laboratories' lead to 85, and then batted solidly to go past that by 125 runs. The debutant Khalid Mahmood's six wickets helped Karachi White takes KRL's last five wickets for 71; he struck twice with the score 271 and once down the order to jar the tail. Yasir Arafat picked up an early wicket but couldn't prevent Ali Asad (65), Asad Shafiq (84 not out) or Khalid Latif (43 not out) from taking Karachi Whites into the lead. At 210 for 1, Karachi Whites are in charge.
A low-scoring encounters appears set to go Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited's way on the final day in Muridke. From 154 for 6, ZTBL inched to an eventual 229, with Sui Southern Gas Corporation's Sohail Khan taking six wickets. Then Iftikhar Anjum, whose unbeaten 24 had helped ZTBL advance their lead, struck three blows with the ball. He dismissed Asif Zakir and Adnan Malik as SSGC slipped 17 for 2, and then returned to get the captain Saeed Bin Nasir. SSCG slumped to 89 for 5 in pursuit of a target of 221.
Islamabad duly crushed Quetta by an innings and 415 runs at the Diamond Club Ground. The home side needed just four wickets to wrap up that monstrous victory, and took them in just 41 deliveries. Saad Altaf helped himself to a couple to finish with 6 for 29 and ten for the match. With 39 wickets, Altaf stands at No. 3 in the season's tally.
Abbottabad have a tough last day's work ahead of them in Sheikhupura. They first allowed Sialkot to take a 142-run lead - even though they took the last five wickets for 71 - and then lost four wickets to finish the day just 15 runs ahead. In their second innings, Abottabad were given a 68-run stand between Hammad Ali and Ghulam Mohammad, but once the latter was dismissed for 40 the middle order struggled. Hammad remained unbeaten on 69 at the close, with the score 157 for 4. Table-toppers Sialkot will back themselves to win this one.
Junaid Zia completed a five-wicket haul to give Lahore Ravi a slim lead and his side's openers responded with an unbeaten partnership of 116 to extend the lead over Peshawar to 130 at the Arbab Niaz Stadium. Zia, who hasn't had the best of seasons, picked up his first five-for of the tournament and took his tally to 20 in his seventh match. Lahore Ravi would have had a better lead if not for a sloppy 36 extras. Kashif Siddiq (54 not out) and Mohammad Sohail (58) scored their runs at a good clip to ensure Lahore Ravi didn't stumble before stumps.
Zahoor Khan's seven wickets in the match have give Faisalabad a good shot a win over Karachi Blues in Sargodha. Zahoor struck first thing in the morning to cut short Shahzaid Hassan on 63 from 61 balls before striking telling blows. From 111 for 3 Karachi Blues were bowled out for 158, Zahoor taking 5 for 31, and forced to follow-on. Zahoor then prised out two wickets in the second innings as Karachi Blues finished the day 150 for 4. They still trail by 80.
The match between Rawalpindi and Hyderabad at the Niaz Stadium is headed only one way - for a draw. Hyderabad came out on day three 70 for 1, and finished 293 for 5. Their middle order was kept under wraps but the 18-year-old opener Azeem Ghumon batted all day to record his fourth first-class century in his 11th game. Ghumon occupied the crease all day at strike-rate of just over 50.00, and has so far hung on for 482 minutes. Hyderabad still trail Rawalpindi by 188 but there is not enough time to force a result.