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December 6, 2009
A 580-run stand for the second wicket, a first-class record, between Water and Power Development Authority's Rafatullah Mohmand and Aamer Sajjad was the highlight of their tame draw against Sui Southern Gas Corporation at the Sheikupura Stadium. Rafatullah, who almost made it to the national squad in 2006, went on to a career-best unbeaten 302 while Sajjad fell 11 short of a triple century as the pair bettered the existing mark of 576 between Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama against India in Colombo. They easily overhauled SSGC's first-innings total of 466 as WAPDA finished on 671 for 2, picking up three points.
Rafatullah, 33, was in the news earlier this year when the ICC barred him from the World cup Qualifiers after he was deemed to have not satisfied the rules to represent Afghanistan. He has now set his sights on making the Pakistan national team. "What happened earlier is behind me and I hope that this triple hundred will help me revive my career as I want to play for Pakistan at the international level," he told AFP. PCB chairman Ijaz Butt congratulated the pair on their achievement.
Habib Bank Limited stretched their lead at the top of the group to 12 points with a five-wicket win over Pakistan Customs at the Diamond Club ground. It wasn't all smooth for HBL after starting the day 90 runs short of the target; they lost two wickets for the addition of 26 runs, and three more wickets fell before reaching the 143 they needed to win. Both opener Shan Masood and first-innings hero Humayun Farhat made 38 to steer HBL home.
Second-placed Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited slipped up, getting no points in their draw against Pakistan International Airlines at Jinnah Stadium. They had slipped to a perilous 133 for 7, an overall lead of 70, but were saved by a 85 from No. 7 Raza Ali Dar. He added 57 for the eighth wicket with Imran Ali and 67 for the ninth with Rizwan Akbar to set PIA an almost impossible target of 210 in little more than a session. Opener Agha Sabir's 66 took PIA to 119 for 2 in 27 overs before the match was called off.
It was a draw at the Gaddafi Stadium as well, but a far more exciting one as Khan Research Laboratories came within two wickets of winning against Lahore Shalimar. On a day in which only 81 overs were played, opener Abid Ali (53) and Sohail Idrees (79) resisted for Lahore, but the rest of the top order flopped to keep KRL's hopes of a victory alive. It required a 50-minute unbeaten 34 from No. 9 Mohammad Saeed, who swung two fours and two sixes despite the need for caution towards the end of the game, to deny KRL the win. Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali was the most effective of the KRL bowlers, collecting the second five-wicket haul of his career.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited pulled off a six-wicket win over Karachi Whites at the United Bank Limited Sports Complex to move into joint fourth position. Karachi started the day at 209 for 3 - a lead of 45 - and lost regular wickets to fold for 338 with left-arm spinner Zohaib Khan taking five wickets. Karachi's batsmen used up 46.2 overs on the final day in setting ZTBL a target of 174, with less than half the day remaining. Powered by opener Inam-ul-Haq's 66-ball 72, including five fours and four sixes, ZTBL knocked off the runs in 34.1 overs.
Nasrullah Khan took 5 for 70 to bowl Islamabad to a 37-run win against Sialkot on a closely-contested final day at the Jinnah Stadium. The day began with Islamabad struggling on 145 for 7 in their second innings and they were soon dismissed for 155, setting Sialkot 255 for victory. Faisal Rasheed was the best Sialkot bowler, taking 5 for 45. Islamabad's defence, however, got off to a terrific start when their new-ball bowlers, Rauf Akbar and Nasrullah, each dismissed an opener for a duck. Sialkot went for 1 for 2 to 34 for 4 before Mohammad Ayub began to steady the innings with an aggressive half-century. Nasrullah, however, cut through the middle order and wickets fell at regular intervals as Sialkot were dismissed for 217.
Faisalabad's bowling attack dismissed Rawalpindi for 163 in 50 overs during the chase to complete a 181-run victory at the Iqbal Stadium. Defending a target of 345, Ijax Ahmed jnr took 4 for 57 while Ahmed Hayat claimed 3 for 24. Zahid Mansoor's 37 was the top score for Rawalpindi during a disappointing second innings, which suffered from a lack of partnerships. Earlier in the day, Faisalabad's lower order rallied to extend their total from 69 for 5 to 202. No. 10 Hayat struck five sixes during his innings of 47 off 39 balls.
Lahore Ravi's bowlers finished the job they'd started on the third day, skittling Abbottabad cheaply in the second innings, and gave their batsmen enough time to chase down a modest target on the final day in Muridke. Abbottabad began the day on 103 for 7 and were soon shot out for 161, leaving Lahore Ravi a target of only 186. The chase suffered a jolt when Lahore Ravi lost their second and third wickets with the score on 70 but Asif Khan's half-century and Mohammad Asim's unbeaten 45 ensured victory by five wickets.
Peshawar were always going to struggle to avoid a thrashing on the fourth day and they were dismissed for 197 in the second innings, giving Multan victory by an innings and 124 runs at the Multan Cricket Ground. Peshawar resumed on 147 for 5, still trailing by 174 runs, and Zulfiqar Babar ran through the lower order, finishing with figures of 6 for 37.
|Habib Bank Limited||9||7||1||0||1||0||60|
|Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited||8||6||1||0||1||0||48|
|National Bank of Pakistan||8||4||2||0||2||0||42|
|Pakistan International Airlines||8||3||2||0||3||0||36|
|Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited||8||4||2||0||2||0||36|
|Water and Power Development Authority||9||3||1||0||5||0||33|
|Khan Research Laboratories||8||1||3||0||4||0||12|
|Sui Southern Gas Corporation||8||1||3||0||4||0||12|
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