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January 26, 2010
Habib Bank Limited's middle order complemented the efforts of Mohammad Aslam on day one to put their side well on top against Karachi Blues at the end of the second day at the National Stadium. Resuming at 95 for 2, Habib Bank were jolted early, losing Khaqan Arsal's wicket for the addition of only two runs. Hasan Raza settled the nerves with a steadying hand, and added 53 with the resolute Khan Masood to put his side in sight of the first-innings lead. Farhan Iqbal and Humayun Farhat then ensured that it would be a substantial advantage, adding 86 for the sixth wicket. Raza made an even 50, while Iqbal fell for a strokeful 70. Facing a 150-run deficit, Karachi Blues' second dig got off to a dismal start as four wickets fell for the addition of 79 runs.
Saeed Anwar jnr's 81 led a strong riposte from The Rest before they lost two late wickets to leave their match against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited on the balance at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex. SNGPL's hopes of extending their score hinged on overnight centurion Naeemuddin, but he could only add 20 more runs, as the innings folded for 321. Tabish Khan picked two wickets, while Zulfiqar Babar picked one, as both finished with three-fors. The Rest's innings was jolted by opening bowler Samiullah Khan who picked a wicket with the first ball and went on to reduce them to 38 for 3. Saeed Anwar then began the recovery with Saeed Bin Nasir and the duo added 69 for the fourth wicket, before Nasir was stumped off Yasir Shah's legspin. Sharjeel Khan seamlessly took over the reins and continued to support Saeed Anwar, who stroked ten fours and a six in his measured innings. They seemed set to take their side to stumps before medium-pacer Imran Ali intervened, dismissing both batsmen. Naeem Anjum and Arun Lal will resume The Rest's quest to erase the deficit which is a further 126 runs. Their performance tomorrow could well decide the final line-up, as Habib Bank look set for full points in Karachi.
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