Arafat seven gives KRL the advantage
Allrounder Yasir Arafat pushed his claims for a spot in Pakistan's Test squad for next month's series against Sri Lanka with 7 for 19 in 8.4 overs for Khan Research Laboratories against Sui Southern Gas Corporation in Rawalpindi. On a day when 17 wickets fell, Pakistan left-armer Sohail Tanvir took 0 for 28 in nine overs, as SSGC finished at 57 for 7 - 16 were extras - in reply to KRL's 191. No. Ali Khan scored an unbeaten 42 to help KRL to that score, with both Saeed Anwar jnr and Mohammad Wasim making 39. Medium-pacer Shehzad Butt took 4 for 47, while Rajesh Ramesh had figures of 3 for 53.
Three wickets for opening bowler Aamer Yousuf and two for former Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Zahid helped Pakistan Customs reduce Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited to 134 for 6 in the 43.5 overs at the Gujranwala. Azhar Shafiq top scored for SNGPL, the defending champions, with 55 not out while captain Misbah-ul-Haq made 33.
An unbeaten 61 from Zulqarnain Haider and Muzaffar Mahboob's 54 took Lahore Shalimar to 219 for 6 against Habib Bank Limited at the Gaddafi Stadium. Fahad Masood struck two early blows, but Abid Ali and Raza Ali Dar made 30s to string useful partnerships with Haider. Lahore found themselves at 127 for 5, but Haider and Mahboob shared a 74-run stand, which was broken by Shahid Afridi, who finished the day with two wickets.
There was no play on the first day between leaders Pakistan International Airlines and Water and Power Development Authority in Sialkot.
Group BOnly 14.3 overs were bowled at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad, where the hosts stumbled to 51 for 4 against Islamabad. Saad Altaf took three, while his new-ball partner Rauf Akbar scalped the other.
At the Niaz Stadium, Abbottabad failed to capitalise on two early strikes against Hyderabad. Put in, Hyderabad were reduced to 13 for 2. However, an unbroken 219-run stand between Azeem Ghumon and Faisal Athar helped them take the honours on the first day. Opener Ghumon hit 91 off 264 balls, while Athar was much quicker, scoring 127 off 214. Armaghan Elahi and Rashid Mansoor, Abbottabad's opening bowlers, conceded 48 runs in their 34 overs.
Second-placed Rawalpindi also overcome a shaky start to score 250 for 6 in 71 overs against Lahore Ravi at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Waqas Ahmed and Junaid Zia shared the wickets as Rawalpindi slumped to 24 to 4. Jamal Anwar scored 35 and added 51 for the fifth wicket with Naved Ashraf, the captain. Ashraf then took charge of the innings, and found support from Fawad Hussain. The duo added 168 before Ashraf was dismissed for 105 by Waqas. Hussain was unbeaten on 85 at stumps.
Opener Naeemuddin's 65 and useful scores from the middle order helped group leaders Sialkot to 230 for 7 on the opening day against Multan in Okara. Put in, Sialkot had a 42-run opening stand before two wickets fell in quick succession. Naeemuddin and Haris Sohail (38) then put on 88, but yet again wickets fell in a flurry as Sialkot were reduced to 140 for 5, with offspinner Majid Majeed striking twice. Nayyer Abbas (41) and Ayaz Tasawwar (38) took the score past 200. Tasawwar will resume on the second day unbeaten on a 90-ball 38.