Azmat, Babar fashion WAPDA recovery
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) recovered form 101 for 6 to 296 against Sialkot at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot, courtesy a fighting 170-run stand for the seventh wicket from the overnight batsmen, Ali Azmat and Zulfiqar Babar. Azmat went on to score a century, while Babar hit 81, to give WAPDA a 157-run first innings lead after the wicket-ridden first day. WAPDA's bowlers then knocked over four Sialkot wickets in a little over 30 overs, with the hosts still trailing by four runs at 153 for 4. They would have been in a much worse situation had it not been for Mohammad Ayub: he smacked 97 not out from 70 balls with 19 fours, and they will be hoping for more of the same from him on day three.
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) put in a solid batting performance on day two, to take charge of their match against Abbottabad at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium. In the morning, it took SBP just nine balls to wrap up what had been a stubborn tenth-wicket partnership - the No. 11, Mohammad Naeem, finally fell for 30 to end his 93-run stand with Ikramullah Khan, who finished unbeaten on 70. The SBP top order then took the side to 250 for 2 at stumps: the innings was steered by Waqar Orakzai who was unbeaten on 110, while Mohtashim Ali and Kashif Siddiq scored 53 and 40 respectively.
Two big century stands on day two took National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to 539 for 4 against Faisalabad, before their captain Kamran Akmal declared at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. Aqeel Anjum, who was batting on a hundred overnight, went on to make 146, while the other overnight batsman, Fawad Alam finished unbeaten on 157. He followed up his 155-run stand with Anjum with an unbroken 177-run stand with Qaiser Abbas. Akmal declared soon after Abbas got to his century. Faisalabad then lost opener Ali Rafiq for a duck to Wasim Khan, but Farrukh Shehzad and Mohammad Shahid put on a cautious stand to take them to stumps on 79 for 1.
Rawalpindi's Sadaf Hussain carried his fine form from the last round into the match against Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), claiming a five-for to give his team the advantage at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Resuming on 297 for 8, Rawalpindi were bowled out for 304, with Iftikhar Anjum completing his five-wicket haul. Sadaf then ripped through the ZTBL top order, reducing them to 31 for 4 before a steadying century stand between Haris Sohail and Zohaib Khan. But Rawalpindi picked up another cluster of wickets to end the day on top, as ZTBL were left wobbling on 178 for 7.
Habib Bank Limited (HBL) took control of their match against Islamabad at the Diamond Club Ground courtesy a five-wicket haul by fast bowler Fahad Masood. Having started the second day on 341 for 4, HBL could only reach 401, with seamer Zohaib Ahmed ripping through the lower order to finish with 7 for 84. But Zohaib's work was undone by his team's batsmen, who folded for 108, giving HBL a 293-run first-innings lead. Masood and seamer Sarmad Anwar did the early damage for HBL, before legspinner Danish Kaneria took two wickets at the end. Zeeshan Mushtaq's 39 was the highest score in Islamabad's innings and only three other batsmen reached double figures. HBL enforced the follow on and Islamabad's openers managed to erase another 59 runs off the lead, but still have a mountain to climb going in to the third day.
A century by Sarfraz Ahmed and early wickets from new-ball bowlers Najaf Shah and Ali Imran put Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in charge against Karachi Blues at the National Stadium in Karachi. Sarfraz started the second day 62 not out with Sheharyar Ghani, who was unbeaten on 106. The two had already put together 126 runs on the first day and added another 126 runs on the second in what was a huge sixth-wicket partnership. Ghani moved on to 161 while Sarfraz finished with 131. PIA's tail did not last long, but Najaf and Imran rattled Karachi Blues, leaving them 63 for 5. An unbeaten half-century by Asad Baig provided some resistance but the hosts finished the day eight wickets down and still 314 runs adrift of PIA's first innings total. Najaf and Imran had three wickets each on the day.