Seamers put PIA on top
Pakistan International Airlines reached a dominant position in Faisalabad, as they gained a 121-run lead against National Bank of Pakistan. NBP began the day in a precarious position, at 55 for 5. Some resistance from the lower order, chiefly wicketkeeper Amin-ur-Rehman (36) and Wasim Khan (27), took them to 170, giving PIA a nine-run advantage on the first innings. Seamers Anwar Ali and Ali Imran grabbed four wickets each to hand PIA the edge after a disappointing performance with the bat on the opening day. In their second innings, PIA were boosted by an unbeaten 49 from opener Agha Sabir, who steered them to 112 for 2.
Habib Bank Limited gained the upper hand on a truncated second day against Sui Southern Gas Corporation in Rawalpindi. Bilal Asad top scored with 45, but Habib Bank kept chipping away with regularity at the opposition, reducing them to 116 for 6 at stumps. Seamer Fahad Masood took 2 for 21, and was supported well by the rest of the bowling line-up.
Karachi Whites, led by opener Naved Khan's unbeaten 108, snatched the advantage against Lahore Shalimar at the Gaddafi Stadium. Naved was assisted in a 151-run third-wicket stand by Atif Ali, and the pair helped Karachi reach 233 for 3 at stumps, only 24 adrift of Lahore's first-innings score. Naved played a patient knock, eating up 253 deliveries, and striking ten fours. Atif, too, took his time but ensured a foundation for a substantial lead was laid.
Fourteen wickets fell on the second day of the contest between Pakistan Customs and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited in Islamabad, making amends for the absence of any action due to rain on the first. SNGPL held a slight advantage at stumps, having bowled out Pakistan Customs for 169 and reaching 77 for 4 in reply. Their bowling effort was a collective one. Medium-pacer Rizwan Akbar grabbed 3 for 44, while three others grabbed two wickets each. Tahir Mughal dented PIA in their response, bagging three wickets but Ali Waqas is going strong with an unbeaten 39.
Water and Power Development Authority, boosted by important contributions from almost all their batsmen, amassed 446 for 8 in their first innings against Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited in Gujranwala. Opener Adil Nisar made 104 and was backed up by half-centuries from Aamer Sajjad and Ahmed Said as WAPDA built on the strong platform they had laid on the first day. For ZTBL, Kashif Daud and Mohammad Khalil bagged three wickets each. At stumps, ZTBL were 16 without loss.
Seventeen wickets fell on a extraordinary day at the Abbottabad Cricket stadium as the home side took first-innings points against Peshawar. Abbottbad began the day on 34 for 3, but were bowled out for 111, courtesy twin five-fors from fast bowlers Nauman Habib and Riaz Afridi. More drama was to follow as left-arm fast man Junaid Khan stole the show for Abbottabad with 6 for 43. Barring opener Haroon Ahmed (46), none of the Peshawar batsmen managed to reach double figures as they folded for 81 in 32.4 overs. The Abbottabad openers brought a calm end to the day, guiding them home to 16 for no loss at stumps.
Right-arm fast bowler Tanvir Ahmed ensured table-toppers Karachi Blues took first-innings points against bottom-placed Lahore Ravi at the National Stadium in Karachi. His five-for helped bowl out the opposition for 190, as none of the Lahore batsmen managed a defining innings. With the lead of 107, Karachi were pegged back by Junaid Zia before Asad Shafiq and Asim Kamal guided them safely to stumps at 102 for 4.
A well-composed hundred from left-hander Naved Yasin helped Multan extended their domination against Hyderabad at the Niaz Stadium. Resuming on 127 for 1, Multan went past Hyderabad's first-innings total of 194 with ease. Yasin then put Multan in pole position hitting 10 boundaries during his 192-ball 111. With Rizwan Haider looking in good touch with an unbeaten 47, Multan may fancy an innings win as well.
Faisalabad's No. 8 batsman Zulqarnain was in terrific form as Quetta failed to capitalise on their overnight advantage in the basement battle in Sargodha. Resuming on 234 for 7, Zulqarnain smashed six fours and two sixes during his 146-ball 77 to strengthen Faisalabad, lifting them to 350. He then provided them with the first breakthrough during Quetta's reply, sending back opener Shoaib Khan jnr early. Quetta went on to lose two more wickets to finish nervously 64 for 3.
The Rawalpindi batsmen found Rauf Akbar's pace too hot to handle as they managed 218 for 8 against Islamabad at the Diamond Club Ground. After the first day's play was washed out, Rauf gave Islamabad a flying start after they opted to field. He sent back the openers in quick time before a 92-run partnership for the third wicket between Zahid Mansoor (37) and Adnan Mufti (79) held up the charge. He returned to remove them both to finish with 4 for 78, with a five-for very much on the cards.