Mohammad Rameez derails Sialkot
An astonishing 16 wickets fell on the opening day at the Jinnah Stadium as the Rawalpindi right-arm seamer Mohammad Rameez took 6 for 43 to send Sialkot crashing to 107. The hosts found themselves at an embarrassing 53 for 9, but Naved Arif scored 49 at No.10 to push the score past 100. Only three Sialkot batsmen went past double figures as Rameez wreaked havoc. Rawalpindi made a more assured start but lost four wickets - Arif chipped in with two - and took the first-innings lead.
The opening day at the National Ground between the hosts Islamabad and Peshawar was all about three players - Ali Sarfraz, Riaz Afridi and Azam Khan. The ball dominated the bat with 12 wickets falling, and the only batsman to make a significant contribution was Sarfraz, who scored 96 in Islamabad's total of 256. Afridi, the right-arm seamer took five wickets while Azam, another right-armer, took four to support Afridi. Islamabad's lower order chipped to beef up the score after a disappointing 111 for 6. Peshawar lost their openers in reply and ended the day at 47 for 2.
A combined bowling effort by Lahore Ravi helped bowl out Quetta for 220 at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Shahzad Tareen top scored with 68 but he didn't get decent support from the rest. His knock came off 110 balls with nine fours. Mohammad Irshad was the leading wicket-taker with three wickets while Waqas Ahmed, Junaid Zia and Aamer Hayat took two each. The Lahore openers were unbeaten at stumps.
Continuing his good form from the previous game, where he scored an unbeaten 200, Abbottabad captain Adnan Raees made an unbeaten 101 as his team finished on 279 for 9 against Multan in Okara. Opener Fawad Khan also made a significant contribution - 89- and shared a stand of 97 for the third wicket with Mohammad Kashif, before Raees joined him for a bigger stand of 112 for the fifth. When Fawad was dismissed by Ansar Javed, Multan fought back to pick up quick wickets. Javed ended the day with 3 for 65.
Habib Bank Limited grabbed the advantage on the first day against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited in Islamabad. Half-centuries from opener Naeemuddin and captain Azhar Shafiq had taken SNGPL to a comfortable position at 149 for 2, but a collective bowling display from HBL saw to it that the opposition was bowled out for 245. Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman starred with 4 for 59, and was backed up by fast bowler Sarmad Anwar (3 for 47) and Mohammad Aslam (2 for 37). The trio, with their burst of wickets, caused a collapse, as eight wickets fell for 96 runs. In reply, HBL were in a spot of bother, with opener Shan Masood retiring hurt and Saleem Elahi falling to Asad Ali; they were 10 for 1 at stumps.
Water and Power Development Authority held the edge against Karachi Whites at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex. In an admirable bowling effort, WAPDA bowled out Karachi for 170, thanks to three-wicket hauls from fast bowlers Shabbir Ahmed and Azharullah. It could have been worse for Karachi, for they were reeling at 101 for 8 at on stage. A 67-run stand between Akbar-ur-Rehman (58) and No.10 batsman Tabish Khan (21) saved their blushes somewhat. It was Tabish again who led the fight in the WAPDA reply, taking three wickets to put them in a spot of bother at 86 for 4. However, Jahangir Mirza (34 not out) and Ali Azmat (25 not out) stabilized the innings in an unbeaten 42-run stand to steer their team to 128 for 4 at stumps, still 42 runs adrift.
Khan Research Laboratories reached a comfortable position against National Bank of Pakistan in Rawalpindi. Driven by half-centuries from Saeed Anwar jnr, Bazid Khan and Zahoor Elahi, KRL reached 319 for 7 at stumps. NBP, boosted by Wasim Khan's three-for, had limited KRL to 115 for 4, but a 165-run stand between Bazid and Elahi turned the balance in their favour. However, KRL received a setback towards the end of the day, for they lost three wickets for 21. But with Elahi still at the crease on 76, and Jaffar Nazir (14 not out) supporting him in an unbeaten stand of 18, KRL are in with a chance of extending their advantage much further.
Sui Southern Gas Corporation dominated Lahore Shalimar on the opening day at the Gaddafi Stadium. Opener Azeem Ghumman smashed an unbeaten 143, laced with 11 fours and a six, to mark a productive day for SSGC, who were boosted by four important partnerships. The lowest stand of the day was between the openers, and it yielded 59 runs. Ghumman then added 79 with Imran Abbas, followed by 65 with Bilal Asad. He signed off day one with an unbeaten partnership of 94 with captain Saeed Bin Nasir (57 not out) to take his team to 297 for 3 at stumps. Lahore face the possibility of an imposing first-innings score, and will have to strike early on the second day to give themselves a chance.
Pakistan Customs walked away with first-day honours against Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited at the Marghzar Cricket Ground. Debutant Ahmed Jamal (4 for 61) and Tahir Mughal (3 for 46) shared seven wickets between them to leave ZTBL at 224 for 8 at stumps. The pair got into the act from the outset, with Mughal dismissing opener Inam-ul-Haq for a duck. Opener Zohaib Khan resisted with a 175-ball, barring a 55-run stand for the fourth wicket, there wasn't much support from the other end. But the lower order stepped up to the task after Zohaib fell; Mohammad Khalil chipped in with 22 and Kashif Daud made a handy 18 to rally around wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, who remained unbeaten on 59. From a precarious position at 116 for 6, ZTBL recovered to a more respectable position, though Pakistan Customs still hold the cards going into the second day.