Zulfiqar spell takes WAPDA to thrilling win
Water and Power Development Authority 202 (Maqsood 51, Rasool 3-48, Haider 3-52) and 118 (Ayub 32*, Rasool 5-60, Mahmood 4-31) beat State Bank of Pakistan 156 (Raees 39, Junaid 4-54, Attari 3-27) and 160 (Raees 46, Zulfiqar 7-74) by four runs
Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar's seven-wicket haul helped Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) snatch a thrilling four-run win against State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in a see-saw battle in Faisalabad. The continuous shift of momentum was apparent in SBP's chase of 165 as in the entire match. After being in a position of control at 93 for 3, SBP lost six wickets for 36 runs, then managed a 33-run last-wicket stand to raise hopes of victory, but in the end, they fell five short of the target.
Neither team created a position of clear advantage throughout the contest. However, WAPDA, led by seamers Junaid Khan and Azhar Attari, had a slight edge over their opponents midway, as they took a 46-run first-innings lead.
But that was nullified by a poor second innings by them. Spinners Adnan Rasool and Hasan Mahmood ran through the entire batting order, taking nine wickets between them to bowl WAPDA out for 118. Only lower middle-order batsman Mohammad Ayub resisted their onslaught with an unbeaten 32.
The chase began poorly as opener Rameez Raja fell with five runs on the board. His partner, captain Kashif Siddiq, with other top-order batsmen, took them to a position of apparent safety at 93 for 3, before a collapse ensued.
Khan Research Laboratories 343 (Shoaib 177, Cheema 3-83) and 123 for 3 (Riaz 54) beat Pakistan International Airlines 268 (Tahir 57*, Anwar 49, Rahat 4-69, Khan 3-40) and 194 (Sarfraz 53*, Yasir 3-34, Khan 3-41) by seven wickets
At the Khan Research Laboratory Ground in Rawalpindi, the home team, Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), claimed a comfortable seven-wicket victory against Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) with the help of big centuries from middle-order batsman Shoaib Ahmed, and a combined bowling performance in the second innings.
After being asked to bowl, KRL took wickets regularly to bowl PIA out for 268. Although only lower-order batsman Tahir Khan scored a half-century, PIA were helped by small but productive partnerships to go past the 250-run mark. The seventh-wicket stand of 58 was the highest, but there were five other partnerships all worth over 30. Left-arm seamer Rahat Ali took four wickets.
But the total was overhauled by KRL, with a knock of 177 from middle-order batsman Shoaib. Off the other batsmen, only Saeed Anwar jnr scored a half-century, as they were bowled out for 343. Shoaib's innings featured 21 boundaries and three sixes.
The deficit of 75 was erased by PIA, but three wickets apiece by Yasir Ali and Ali Khan restricted them to 194. Sarfraz Ahmed, with an unbeaten 53, and Faisal Iqbal were the chief contributors to that total. The target was quickly achieved by KRL, courtesy of an aggressive 54 from opener Tayyab Riaz.
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited 232 (Azhar 56, Ameer 3-57, Aslam 3-63) and 199 (Ghumman 53, Adeel 4-44, Ameer 3-55) drew with Habib Bank Limited 293 (Shehzad 94, Farhat 70, Masood 56, Zahoor 4-51, Khalid 3-34) and 73 for 5 (Farhat 44)
A potential winning opportunity was spurned by Habib Bank Limited in their chase of 139 as they drew against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) in Islamabad. After gaining a 61-run lead in the first innings, Habib Bank, through seamers Ehsan Adil and Abdul Ameer, bowled SNGPL for 199. But they couldn't chase down the small target in 36 overs, and had to be content with three points from the game.
SNGPL, after choosing to bat, lost a couple of wickets early, but a 75-run third-wicket partnership, and four other smaller stands took them to 232.
Habib Bank's reply was dominated by their first three batsmen. Openers Imran Farhat and Shan Masood put on 119, with both scoring half-centuries and No. 3 Ahmed Shehzad scored 94. But from 220 for 3, they collapsed to 293 all out.
SNGPL managed a more productive second innings than their first. Opener Azeem Ghumman scored a half-century, but of the other batsmen, no one scored more than 24. Ehsan Adil, who had taken two wickets in the first innings, took four this time. A target of 139 in 36 overs appeared achievable and Habib Bank began their chase positively too, but they lost four wickets quickly, and ultimately, ended the game at 73 for 5 with a draw.