Wins for Rawalpindi and KRL
Khan Research Laboratories registered their first win of the competition, thanks to a 11-wicket haul from Mohammad Irfan at the National Stadium. Karachi Whites, who were bowled out for 87 in their first innings, faced a deficit of 421 at the start of the second. Their put in a far improved display, with half-centuries from captain Shadab Kabir (54), Afsar Nawaz (64) and Akbar-ur-Rehman (75) but Irfan accounted for each of them, and more, to seal victory by an innings and 107 runs. Tariq Mahmood added to KRL's tally, taking 3 for 45, as the lead gained by them in the first innings proved too imposing for Karachi to overcome.
An unbeaten 178 from Salim Elahi rescued Habib Bank from a precarious situation at the start of the day, to a relatively comfortable position at stumps. In pursuit of Water and Power Development Authority's 411, Habib Bank were staring down the barrel at 79 for 4. But Elahi stayed firm at one end and guided the innings to safety, stringing a 141-run stand with Abdur Rehman (45) for the fifth wicket and a 67-run stand for the ninth with Danish Kaneria. The effort helped Habib Bank post 354, and concede a lead of 57. WAPDA, in their second innings, were 7 for 1.
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited are in an excellent position to win their second game of the tournament, as Lahore Shalimar were four down for 134, still 279 adrift after following on at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Lahore began the day on 158 for 5, and were boosted by contributions from the lower order, which took them to a score of 296. Captain Ali Raza made 69, Saad Nasim chipping in with 30 and the extras added up to 44. Bowlers Asad Ali and Rizwan Akbar grabbed three wickets each to ensure the damage inflicted on Lahore still remained extensive, and the repairs after following on compensated only for a minute percentage. Raza was unbeaten on 38, but Lahore lost a wicket at the stroke of stumps to inch closer towards defeat.
Pakistan International Airlines had ended day two on even terms against Pakistan Customs, but seized advantage on the third day in Karachi, thanks to Fahad Iqbal's 92. Fahad was involved in a game-turning seventh-wicket stand of 119 with Anwar Ali (44) and took his team to 323, a healthy first-innings lead of 96. PIA then rocked the Pakistan Customs top order; Ali Imran took two wickets to help leave them in trouble at 46 for 4 at one stage - Pakistan Customs had lost three wickets for nine runs. But captain Mohammad Hussain (22 not out) and Mohammad Nabi (16) eased the nerves with an unbeaten 39-run stand to end the day at 85 for 4, still 11 runs adrift.
Quetta proved no match for Rawalpindi, losing 15 wickets on the third day to lose by an innings and 192 runs in Islamabad. Rawalpindi have now won two in two in the competition. Quetta began the day on 116 for 5, but seamers Mohammad Rameez and Rashid Latif tore through the line-up, dismissing them for 148 and splitting five wickets each. Latif was brilliant throughout, and returned to haunt Quetta after Rawalpindi had enforced the follow-on - they led by 381 in the first innings. The two seamers were again ruthless. Rameez played an excellent supporting role, taking 3 for 67, while Latif stole the show, accounting for six Quetta wickets to finish with career-best figures. Quetta had slid to 133 for 8 before Faisal Irfan (30 not out) and Arshad Khan (28) were involved in a frustrating stand of 46. Latif, however, brought it to an end and dismissed the last man to inflict a demoralizing defeat on Quetta.
Abbottabad will look to force a win against Hyderabad at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium, as they finished day three with a lead of 385 and four wickets still in hand. They began the day in a position of control, but a lower-order recovery from Hyderabad, Shoaib Lagharai (47) and Lal Kumar (31) chipping in with useful contributions, limited the first-innings lead to 137. Left-arm spinner Khalid Usman took 5 for 51 to put Abbottabad on top, but the match began to slip out of their grasp. Kumar was impressive with the ball, rattling the top order with four wickets, as Hyderabad appeared to have pulled things back at 119 for 6. But Usman starred in an allround effort, remaining unbeaten on 63, and added an ongoing 129 with Riaz Kalil (65) to end at 248 for 6 at stumps and restore the advantage.
Peshawar and Faisalabad ended the third day on even terms in Sargodha, and a draw seems the most likely result. Faisalabad, starting the day on 263 for 7, folded for 316, securing a first-innings lead of 84. However, Peshawar, led by Fahad Ali's 110, hit back to finish the day 129 runs ahead. Ali's innings was laced with 18 fours and a six and he was assisted by Mohammad Idrees (41) in a stand of 80. But both batsmen had been sent back by stumps, and Peshwar finished on 213 for 3. With two new batsmen at the crease, Faisalabad might sense a chance of pushing for victory but they only have a day left.
Karachi Blues are favourites to seal victory against Islamabad at the Diamond Club Ground. Seamers Mohammad Sami (2 for 72) and Tanvir Ahmed (4 for 89) cleaned up the lower order to bowl Islamabad for 236 in the first innings and gain a lead of 160, which enabled their team to enforce the follow-on. Though Islamabad put in a better effort the second time round, they finished with 135 ahead and only two wickets in hand at stumps. Tanvir was again the chief wrecker, taking 4 for 71, and was supported by Fahadullah Khan and Tariq Haroon, who grabbed two wickets each. Each of the top six Islamabad batsmen got starts, but only one, opener Umair Khan, managed to score a half-century. Karachi would want to ensure they clean up the tail early tomorrow to give their batsmen a small enough target to scale down.
The going was slow at the Jinnah Stadium, as the game between Sialkot and Multan appeared to be heading for a draw. Multan led by 13 at the start of the day, and consolidated that to 226 at stumps for the loss of five wickets, but not without hiccups. Suleman Ali took a brace and Babar Ali retired hurt on 15, and at 91 for 4, Multan were in trouble. But Naved Yasin rose to the challenge, making an unbeaten 77 and built valuable stands with wicketkeeper Gulraiz Sadaf (38) and Kahif Naved (30 not out). The middle-order recovery, which featured partnerships of 70 and an unbeaten 66, took Multan to a position of safety with a day to play.