Kashif Naved stars for Multan
Only 48 overs were possible in the crucial final round game between Water and Power Development Authority and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited at Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. Both teams stand a chance for qualifying for the QEA Division One final; WAPDA are at joint second with 54 points, just three points behind leaders Habib Bank Limited, while ZTBL are at No. 3 with 51.
An all-round bowling performance from ZTBL meant that WAPDA were restricted to 160 for 5 at the end of the first day's play. ZTBL won the toss and elected to field and reduced WAPDA to 76 for 3. A 67-run fourth-wicket partnership between Rafatullah Mohmand (62) and Sohaib Maqsood (38) calmed the nerves before allrounder Zohaib Khan struck with his left-arm spin to remove them in quick succession. WAPDA's chances of getting a substantial first-innings score now depends on Aamer Sajjad and Ali Azmat who were unbeaten at close of play.
Mansoor Ahmed picked up four wickets to leave Faisalabad struggling against Karachi Blues at the National Stadium in Karachi. Faisalabad won the toss and elected to bat and got off to a solid start to reach 86 for 1. Babar Rehman then struck to remove Farrukh Shehzad (43) and Afaq Khan (6) in quick succession, but Faisalabad's innings looked to be back on track after Hasan Mahmood and captain Naved Latif added 54 for the fourth wicket to carry them to 147 for 3. Mansoor then intervened by dismissing Latif, before running through Faisalabad's middle and lower order as they stumbled to 187 for 9 at close of play.
Kashif Naved top scored with 80 as Multan, who have yet to earn a point in tournament, were bowled out for 244 against Islamabad at the Multan Cricket Stadium. The hosts, who were sent in to bat, looked in grave danger of folding up cheaply at 52 for 5 with their batsmen struggling to cope with the new-ball duo of Nasrullah Khan and Rauf Akbar. However, Naved combined with Tariq Nadeem (36) and Imranullah Aslam (51) for two crucial half-century partnerships as Multan showed some fight. Offspinner Kamran Hussain picked up four wickets as they were finally bowled out for 244. Multan captain Abdur Rauf struck early in Islamabad's innings to pick up two quick wickets as Islamabad ended the day on 30 for 2 with Farrukh Hayat and Zeeshan Mushtaq at the crease.
Rain meant there was no play possible on the first day in the other three games, and in the Division Two final between Khan Research Laboratories and State Bank of Pakistan.