WAPDA, United Bank open with innings wins
Water and Power Development Authority began their Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Gold League campaign with a crushing win over Lahore Lions at the Gaddafi Stadium. Centuries from Nos. 3 and 4 Mohammad Saad and Aamer Sajjad in the first innings, after Lahore Lions had inserted them, set up a daunting total of 542 for 6 declared, before fast bowler Mohammad Ali led WAPDA's charge with the ball. Lahore Lions were bowled out for 288, with Ali taking 5 for 37 in 24 overs, before WAPDA captain Rafatullah Mohmand asked them to follow on. Their second innings went off track quickly, with both openers dismissed by the time the score got to 4. They never recovered, falling to 156 all out, to hand WAPDA an innings and 98-run win and a maximum quota of 10 points - three for the first-innings lead, six for the win and a bonus point for the innings-victory margin.
Port Qasim Authority also opened with a big win, against Karachi Dolphins. However, they just missed out on points for the first-innings lead as Karachi Dolphins inched ahead. After Port Qasim had got to 220 on the back of 83 from opener Khurram Manzoor, Karachi Dolphins were in some trouble at 162 for 7 - much of that trouble was caused by Pakistan discard Mohammad Sami, who took 5 for 47. However, stout rearguard action from Mohammad Hasan, Shahzaib Ahmed - who had taken four wickets with his legspin earlier - and Adeel Malik helped them to 222. They could not hold on to their slim advantage, though, as Port Qasim powered to 321 for 7 in their second innings with half-centuries from Faraz Ali and Khalid Latif. With 320 to defend, Sami did the job in the second innings too, cleaning up Karachi Dolphins' top order, before Abdur Rauf finished the job with a five-for.
Rawalpindi Rams were routed for 130 and 60 as United Bank Limited completed an innings and 62-run victory. United Bank inserted Rawalpindi Rams and the decision paid off, with the innings folding in just 49 overs. Prince Abbas, with 4 for 32, was the most successful of the United Bank bowlers. Their batsmen then captialised on the advantage - No. 3 Ali Asad hit a century and No. 4 Hasan Mahmood an unbeaten half-century to lift the team to 252 for 3 before they declared amid dodgy weather; the entire third day was washed out. In their second innings, Rawalpindi Rams were even more woeful, imploding for 60 in 30 overs. Once again the United Bank bowlers shared the wickets around, with Prince Abbas leading the pack with a four-for.
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited scripted a come-from-behind victory against Multan Tigers. Sui Gas had fallen to 157 all out in their first innings, conceding a 62-run lead to Multan Tigers, whose first-innings was driven by an unbeaten century from Abdul Rehman Muzammil. In their second innings, Multan Tigers were tripped up by the legspin of Yasir Shah, and slid to 155. That meant Sui Gas had a target of 218, and they chased it down convincingly courtesy brisk knocks of 80something from both their openers - Naeemuddin and Taufeeq Umar.
Bad weather meant the Islamabad Leopards v Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited game was a draw, with the final two days' play was washed out. Islamabad Leopards managed to take three points from the match, though, having secured a slim first-innings lead while play was possible. A half-century from Ali Sarfraz helped them to 209 in their first innings - a lead of 16 over ZTBL. Left-arm, new-ball, pace bowlers Mohammad Khalil and Usman Khan claimed nine wickets between them to ensure Islamabad Leopards did not get a massive advantage despite ZTBL managing only 193. Similarly, it was the new-ball pairing of Shehzad Azam and Hamza Nadeem who did most of the damage in ZTBL innings, taking all ten wickets - seven of which went to Azam.
Two days were lost to rain in the Peshawar Panthers v National Bank of Pakistan game, meaning the teams did not get to play their second innings. Peshawar Panthers did take something away, though - three points for the first innings lead. National Bank chose to bat and ran into trouble in the form of seamer Afaq Ahmed, who picked up 5 for 52 as the side was kept to 170. In reply, several of Peshawar Panthers' top order got starts but could not kick on, and they were in some danger of not getting the lead at 138 for 5. However, a quick 62 from No. 7 Gauhar Ali got them their three points.