Azhar Ali ton sets up big SNGPL win
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited moved to the top of the table with a 237-run win over United Bank Limited in Faisalabad. SNGPL were in trouble at 132 for 6 on day one after choosing to bat, but a 63 from No 8 Bilawal Bhatti stretched the innings to 279. Bhatti also starred on the final day, taking 5 for 13 as UBL were dismissed for 95 in their pursuit of 333.
After Bhatti's rearguard in the first innings, legspinner Yasir Shah took five wickets to earn SNGPL a lead of 62. Ali Asad made 87 at No 3 but there was little support for him. Batsmen No 4 to 7 departed for 15 each as UBL were bowled out for 217.
SNGPL captain Azhar Ali then took the game away from UBL with an unbeaten century, his 17th first-class hundred. Azhar came in at 46 for 2 and ensured UBL were set a difficult target. Opener Azeem Ghumman (62) and Ali Waqas (47) helped their captain build the innings and SNGPL declared on 270 for 5. Imran Ali again made key incisions with the new ball to have UBL tottering on 13 for 3 in the chase after which Bhatti took over. Barring Asif Raza and Bismillah Khan, no UBL batsman made more than 8.
State Bank of Pakistan fought back from the brink of an innings defeat to draw their match against National Bank of Pakistan in Sialkot.
In reply, State Bank were shot out for 53 in their first innings, with National Bank medium-pacer Ataullah taking 5 for 19 off nine overs. State Bank began their second innings with a deficit of 382 runs and suffered a few setbacks but recovered steadily after a dogged partnership between opener Kashif Siddiqui (80) and Usman Arshad, who added 85 for the third wicket. Arshad scored his 11th first-class hundred and also shared a useful 87-run stand with Rameez Alam.
Once Arshad fell for 102, Alam and wicketkeeper Gulraiz Sadaf took on the task of saving the match for State Bank. The pair added 112 for the sixth wicket and Sadaf carried on after Alam's dismissal to stitch a partnership of 124 with Zahid Mahmood for the seventh wicket. Sadaf's resistance ensured that State Bank took a 144-run lead over National Bank. Offspinner Adnan Rasool finished with figures of 6 for 105.
National Bank had to play just two overs in their chase and managed to close at 4 for no loss.
Port Qasim Authority, by way of acquiring a first-innings lead, got the better of Water and Power Development Authority as their President's Trophy clash petered out to a draw at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Put in to bat, Faraz Ali (91) and Mohammad Waqas (76) overcame a shaky start as their 111-run partnership steered Port Qasim to the relative safety of 188 for 4. However, there was little resistance once the pair fell as pacer Azhar Attari took 6 for 76 and Port Qasim lost their final wicket for 273.
In reply, WAPDA's start was even worse as seamer Mohammad Talha ripped out the first four wickets with only 16 on the board. Mohammad Sami drove the stake further with three more wickets, but Adnan Raees refused to budge. His partnership with No. 9 Asif Ali revived a feeble 61 for 7 to 202 for 8. Asif's 71 was his maiden first-class fifty while Raees' century was his 12th in the format. Sami completed his 27th five-wicket haul to limit WAPDA to 231.
The Port Qasim top order could not build on their starts a second time, with the exception of captain Khalid Latif who made 73. There were only two stands over fifty as WAPDA seamer Sarfraz Ahmed held sway, claiming 5 for 36 in just under 25 overs. Asif's form continued with the ball too as he chipped in with three wickets to bundle Port Qasim out for 221.
WAPDA were chasing a target of 264, but the match was drawn with the score at 158 for 5, leaving Port Qasim winless after three matches.
Shoaib Ahmed's century and slow left-armer Mohammad Aslam's six-for in the second innings were the main highlights of another drawn match between Khan Research Laboratories and Habib Bank Limited in Rawalpindi.
After losing the toss, Khan Research Labs got off to a jittery start. At 19 for 2, opener Saeed Anwar jnr and Shoaib paired well, taking the score to 98. Shoaib starred in two more fifty-run stands - for the fourth and fifth wickets - but there was little support down the order. He was dismissed for 119, with 20 fours and the final four wickets could contribute only 15 more runs as KRL posted 307.
Yasir Arafat led a disciplined bowling performance as Habib Bank's only fifty came from No. 9 Ehsan Adil. Although a few batsmen did manage starts - Imran Farhat (32), Asad Baig (45) and wicketkeeper Jamal Anwar (31) - regular wickets thwarted their efforts to push on. Arafat's four wickets stifled the middle order, while Sadaf Hussain and Rahat Ali, who picked up two each, took early KRL wickets. Coming in at 151 for 7, Adil produced an earnest effort, lasting just under three hours for his maiden first-class fifty and took the score to 236.
KRL's second essay was a woeful story as they lost their last six wickets for 25 runs. Usman Salahuddin, coming in at No. 4 offered the only resistance with his 66 off 125 balls, but a devastating spell from 34-year old Aslam, accounting for the last five of the six wickets, bundled KRL out for 159 to set up a target of 231 runs. However, the excitement was short-lived as there wasn't enough time for Habib Bank to record more than 63 for 3.
Pakistan International Airlines demolished Pakistan Television by ten wickets in Islamabad. Kamran Sajid, the PIA captain, struck 148 to lead his side to 382 in the first innings. Aizaz Cheema then picked up seven wickets as PTV were dismissed for 156 and 230, after being made to follow-on.
PIA piled up a big score after being asked to bat. Sajid was assisted by Faisal Iqbal's 96. Though there were few contributions from the other specialist batsmen, No 9 Anwar Ali made 36 before falling to Mohammad Ali, who ended with 5 for 79.
Cheema replied with 4 for 49 as PTV conceded a first-innings lead of 226. Three middle-order batsmen fell in their thirties while the top order also gave away starts. Asked to follow-on, PTV put up a better show. Imran Ali and Nawaz Ahmed made forties at the top of the order but there was little resistance after that. Cheema took three more wickets while Tahir Khan ran through the tail to finish with 4 for 41.
PIA needed to make just five runs in their second innings, and were gifted five wides by Zohaib Ahmed in the second over.