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October 12, 2011
Faisalabad continued their poor start to this season's competition by being bowled out for 217 on the first day against Water and Power Development Authority in Sargodha. Fast bowlers Imran Khan and Kashif Raza shared the first six wickets to fall, reducing Faisalabad to 106 for 6. Veteran Naved Latif, who missed the opening game of the campaign, was the only batsman to cross 30, remaining unbeaten on a brisk 59. Faisalabad did fight back, though, through their bowlers. Abdul Rauf, who has only bowled once before in his ten-match first-class career, was given the new ball and he struck twice early, as WAPDA finished the day on 33 for 3.
Abbottabad were headed towards a middling total against Habib Bank Limited despite a century from their captain Rameez Ahmed and a 91 from Nadeem Akhtar at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium. With five of the top eight making single-digit figures, the wickets tumbled either side of a 172-run stand between Ahmed and Akhtar. The pair rescued Abbottabad from a troublesome 48 for 4, but the dismissal of Akhtar set off a phase where four wickets went down for 28 runs. Ahmed was still unbeaten on 105 as Abbottabad reached 252 for 8 by stumps. Fast bowler Sarmad Anwar was the most effective of the HBL bowlers, finishing with four scalps.
A batting failure meant Islamabad mustered only 198 against National Bank of Pakistan at the Diamond Club Ground. Four of the Islamabad batsmen made it to 30 but none of them could push on to a half-century, and the longest innings came from the opener Umair Khan who battled for 105 minutes to make only 13. Islamabad seemed headed for an even smaller total when they slumped to 117 for 6 but a 63-run eighth-wicket stand between Naeem Anjum and Imad Wasim lifted them. Kamran Akmal, who hasn't played for Pakistan since the World Cup, took five catches in the innings. NBP had batting trouble of their own, losing three early wickets to end at 25 for 3.
Opener Shahzaib Hasan's century and left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Khalil's strikes meant Karachi Blues and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited shared the opening day honours at the National Stadium. Shahzaib made more than half of Karachi's runs, shepherding the side to 251 for 5 despite a lack of support from the rest of the top order. Despite Shahzaib's solidity, Karachi found themselves at a troublesome 79 for 4 as Khalil sliced through the batting. Wicketkeeper Javed Mansoor then provided the back-up Shahzaib needed, the pair adding 166 for the fifth wicket before Shahzaib was dismissed for 144.
Seventies from Rameez Aziz and Gulraiz Sadaf helped State Bank of Pakistan recover from a top-order failure to reach 249 for 7 against Sialkot at the Jinnah Stadium. Mohammad Abbas took three wickets early to push SBP to a spot of bother. From 93 for 5, Aziz and Sadaf dragged SBP to some respectability with a 152-run stand, before a double-strike from fast bowler Prince Abbas meant Sialkot edged the day. Prince and Mohammad Abbas ended with three wickets apiece.
There was another top-order failure at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium where Pakistan International Airlines lost four cheap wickets before recovering to end the day at 259 for 4 against Rawalpindi. A century from Fahad Iqbal and an unbeaten 70 from the experienced Shoaib Khan lifted PIA from 69 for 4. It was Iqbal's fifth first-class century, an innings in which he hit 13 fours and a six. Shoaib came to the crease at nearly the same time as Iqbal but he was far more circumspect, striking at below 40, but played an important role in stabilising the innings.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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