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December 12, 2009
A heroic effort from Zeeshan Nadir couldn't quite seal a win for Pakistan Customs on the final day in Islamabad. Water and Power Development Authority had to sweat a bit but eventually completed victory by four wickets. Customs came into the day leading by 25 with five wickets in hand and extended that to 127, with Hassan Adnan making 84. Chasing 128, WAPDA were given a major scare by Zeeshan who backed up five in the first innings with 6 for 63. The one man he failed to dislodge, Aamer Sajjad, held his nerve to score an unbeaten 39 from 31 balls to finish the chase.
Karachi Whites wasted little time in wrapping up an innings win over National Bank of Pakistan on the fourth morning in Karachi. They needed just two wickets when play began and they took them quickly, dismissing Mansoor Amjad for 85 to achieve the win.
Sui Southern Gas Corporation batted patiently on the final day in Rawalpindi to ensure a draw against Khan Research Laboratories. They took in sessions, first erasing a deficit of 119 and then batting long enough to negate chances of a loss. The opener Asif Zaqir was the man of the moment, scoring 109 from 224 balls out of a total of 315, with assistance from Rizwan Ahmed (64). Shakeel-ur-Rehman took two wickets as KRL hit 32 in five overs before close.
A tame draw played out at the Jinnah Stadium. Zohaib Khan, the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited opener, had batted the entire third day and carried his bat for an unbeaten 114 out of a total of 270. Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited then played out 65 overs and made 283 for 6, owed largely to Saleem Mughal's 102 not out from 132 balls, with 14 fours and three sixes. Mohammad Hafeez started the second innings with a 44-ball 50 and three other batsmen got starts.
Five wickets from the slow left-arm bowler Nauman Alavi helped set up a nine-wicket win for Pakistan International Airlines over Lahore Shalimar at the Gaddafi Stadium. From 76 for 3 overnight, Lahore Shalimar were dismissed for 225, with Alavi taking a career-best 5 for 42. Yasir Hameed slammed an unbeaten 51 from 42 balls to help PIA chase down 100 in 14. 1 overs.
Peshawar, spearheaded by new-ball bowler Imran Khan, pulled off a superb victory over Lahore Ravi in Lahore. Lahore Ravi went into the final day needing what seemed an achievable 229 to win, but Imran's five wickets put a major spanner in the works. Lahore Ravi were unable to get a solid footing, losing Asif Khan to Imran and two more via run-outs, and Mohammad Asim (53) was cut off before he could really do some damage. At 158 for 5 it was still anyone's game, but Asim's dismissal was followed by a major collapse at Imran's hands. Lahore Ravi lost their last five wickets for 19 runs and Peshawar got their second win of the season.
Sialkot duly achieved their victory over Hyderabad at the Niaz Stadium, their fifth of the season. The medium-pacer Faisal Rasheed completed a five-wicket haul early in the day as Hyderabad lost their last three wickets for the addition of 18 runs. Sialkot knocked off a target of 27 with just one wicket down.
Set a monumental 495 to win, and resuming the final day on 93 for 2, Quetta denied Karachi Blues and batted out a draw by reaching 407 for 6 at the National Stadium. Karachi Blues would have really fancied their chances, especially after taking three middle-order wickets in the space of 12 runs, but a stubborn 224-run alliance between Arun Lal (98) and Shoaib Khan jnr, who hit an unbeaten century, denied them. That stand totally flustered Karachi Blues. Shoaib's 111 took just 138 deliveries, studded with 15 fours and a six, and proved crucial in holding the opposition at bay.
A day after Zulfiqar Babar put his name into the record books, Islamabad and Multan batted out a predictable draw at the Multan Cricket Ground. Rameez Alam's unbeaten 119 proved the bulk of Multan's total of 333 for 5 declared, after which Islamabad - set an improbable 267 - played out 16 overs before the captains agreed to call it off. Babar added two more wickets for a match haul of 12 for 168. Islamabad took three points from the game by virtue of a first-innings lead.
What carried the possibility of being an intriguing final day ended with Rawalpindi - who had already taken three points from a first-innings lead - opting to bat out time against Abbottabad in Islamabad. Naved Malik carried on to an unbeaten 116 and added 125 for the seventh wicket with Fawad Hussain (66) as Rawalpindi made 238 for 7. Junaid Khan, taking the new ball, picked up 5 for 100 in that effort. Abbottabad were never going to chase 250 in the minimum overs left in the day, and after a top-order collapse they reached 52 for 4 when the match was called off.
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