Talha bowls NBP to victory
Mohammad Talha grabbed 5 for 37 to help National Bank of Pakistan seal a nine-wicket win, their second in the tournament, over Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited in Faisalabad. NBP began the day with a lead of 40, and Kamran Akmal at the wicket. He handed his team a decisive advantage by scoring a typically aggressive century, making 109 in 123 balls to secure a lead of 177. Akmal was assisted by Qaiser Abbas, with whom he added 128, and contributions from the tail, who propped up NBP to 292. Faced with a major deficit, ZTBL started on a positive note with the openers adding 48. At 82 for 1, it seemed a fight was on, but a collapse ensued. The next five wickets fell for 64, and though Wajahatullah Wasti resisted with 57, with the lower order adding to NBP's frustration, Talha and Mohammad Asif cleaned up the tail to leave their batsmen a target of 25, which was achieved in six overs.
Water and Power Development Authority, boosted by important contributions from the lower order, reached a dominant position against Habib Bank Limited at stumps on the second day in Lahore. A century from Ahmed Said had taken them to 214 on day one, and Ali Azmat (57), Nawaz Sardar (24) and Umaid Asif (67) ensured WAPDA remained in control, helping them post 411. Danish Kaneria took 4 for 118, but could not prevent WAPDA reach a substantial score. In reply, HBL were struggling at 64 for 3, with a set Taufiq Umar, who made 32, falling at the stroke of stumps.
Khan Research Laboratories consolidated the advantage they had gained over Karachi Whites at the National Stadium, reaching 508 for 8 and extending their lead to 421. Starting on 210 for 3, KRL lost Mohammad Wasim early but the batsmen who followed shut out any possibility of a Karachi Whites fightback. Bazid Khan scored a half-century, Zahoor Elahi blitzed 29 and Ali Khan topped their effort, scoring his maiden first-class century, remaining unbeaten on 117. He received support further down the order from Tariq Mahmood (32), with whom he added 89 for the seventh wicket, and Jaffar Nazir, who made 49. Karachi Whites, facing such an imposing lead, are staring at the possibility of an innings defeat.
Misbah-ul-Haq, who was dropped for the series against New Zealand, answered his critics in style, scoring a career-best 284 to put Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited on top against Lahore Shalimar at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Misbah was involved in a mammoth fifth-wicket stand of 479 with Usman Arshad, who made his personal best, 183. The pair struck 63 boundaries and five sixes between them to boost SNGPL to 609 for 6 declared. Lahore, in reply, were reeling at 158 for 5, with Asad Ali causing the early damage, taking three wickets. Lahore lost three wickets for one run at one stage, but captain Ali Raza (35 not out) and Suleman Khan (24 not out) lend some stability to the innings.
The contest between Pakistan Customs and Pakistan International Airlines at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex was evenly poised at stumps on day two. Pakistan Customs began the day on 216 for 6 but a three-wicket burst from Najaf Shah (4 for 31) bowled them out for 227. PIA, in reply, reached 185 for 6 at stumps, but their batsmen will regret not capitalizing on starts. Opener Khurram Manzoor made 51, Kamran Sajid chipped in with 32, Shoaib Malik contributed 30 while wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed was run out for 24. Fahad Iqbal remains unbeaten on 24 and will have to shoulder the responsibility of taking his team into the lead on the third day.
Fawad Hussain's career-best 150, laced with 23 fours and two sixes, put Rawalpindi in command against Quetta in Islamabad. From 309 for 4 overnight, Rawalpindi reached 529 on the second day, with Hussain's effort boosted by valuable stands with the lower order, including a 65-run stand with No.11 Nasir Malik. Rashid Latif (3 for 15) and Mohammad Rameez (2 for 66) had reduced Quetta to 53 for 5 before Ata-ur-Rehman (33 not out) and Jalat Khan (24) saved the blushes, somewhat, with a 63-run unbeaten stand to finish at 116 for 5 at stumps.
There was little to choose between Multan and Sialkot at stumps at Jinnah Stadium. Sialkot just gained a one-run lead after being bowled out for 279, Zulfiqar Babar restricting them with 7 for 97. Openers Kamran Younis and Majid Jahangir added 72 but Babar hit back with two quick wickets. The middle order then stepped up, captain Mohammad Ayub making 51, Suleman Ali chipping in with 46 and Nayer Abbas batting with the tail to finish with an unbeaten 38, and taking his team past Multan. At stumps, Multan were 14 without loss.
Half-centuries from Ijaz Ahmed jnr and Naved Latif gave Faisalabad a slender first-innings lead against Peshawar at Sargodha. Resuming on 3 for 1 on the second morning, Faisalabad slipped to 63 for 3 before the middle and lower order made valuable contributions. Ijaz remained unbeaten on 65, while Latif contributed 51 to a 92-run stand for the sixth wicket. Hamad-ul-Hasan took 3 for 100 as Faisalabad finished on 263 for 7, leading by 31 runs with three wickets in hand.
Karachi Blues ended the second day on top against Islamabad at the Diamond Club Ground. Javed Mansoor completed his half-century before Karachi Blues were dismissed for 396 in their first-innings, after which Tanvir Ahmed and Tariq Haroon reduced the hosts to 204 for 6. Islamabad were struggling at 99 for 5 before Ameer Khan scored a half-century and added 96 runs with Naeem Anjum, who remained unbeaten on 43. Karachi ended the day on a high when Ameer was run out for 69.
Adnan Raees converted his overnight score of 90 into a massive hundred to boost Abbottabad from 309 for 7 to 420 against Hyderabad at Abbottabad. The home side's bowlers then consolidated the advantage by restricting Hyderabad to 186 for for 6 by the close of the second day. Hyderabad opener Aqeel Anjum top-scored with 85 but received little support from the rest of the top and middle order. Junaid Khan and Khalid Usman took two wickets apiece for Abbottabad.