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January 1, 2014
Zohaib Khan, the left-arm spin bowling allrounder, contributed with both bat and ball to lead Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) to their third win in seven games in the President's Trophy 2013-14. ZTBL's three-wicket victory over Khan Research Laboratories, in Rawalpindi, gained them nine much-needed points, but they still sit only in the middle of the points table.
ZTBL chose to bowl and pacers Mohammad Khalil and Sajjad Hussain gave them the early edge, picking up seven wickets between them. Zohaib did the rest, picking up three lower-order wickets to finish off Khan Research Laboratories' innings at 171. ZTBL's batsmen did not do much better than Khan Research Laboratories' though, managing only a23-run lead primarily through wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, who made 72. Left-arm quick Sadaf Hussain was the destroyer-in-chief, picking up four of the top five ZTBL batsmen on his way to an 18th five-wicket haul.
Zohaib was among the second-innings wickets again for ZTBL, picking up 4 for 52 as Khan Research Laboratories' batsmen - apart from opener Shoaib Ahmed and No. 6 Ali Khan, who made half-centuries - failed again. That left ZTBL chasing 184, and they were in some trouble at 59 for 4 and then 106 for 5, when Zohaib arrived at the crease. He made sure his good work with the ball didn't go in vain, producing the only fifty of the innings, and a 72-run stand with Haider, to ensure the team edged home.
Rain and a wet outfield in Sialkot washed out half of the match between National Bank of Pakistan and Port Kasim Authority, denying Port Qasim the chance of completing a victory after they had dominated the first two days.
After being put in to bat, Port Qasim were in some trouble early, falling to 148 for 7 before rearguard efforts from Mohammad Sami and Tanvir Ahmed got them to 239. Pace bowler Sohail Khan then ran through National Bank's top order, picking up six of the top seven batsmen, to give Port Qasim a 127-run lead. Umar Amin then built the lead in the second innings, getting to 74 as the lead grew to 279 by stumps on day two. With six wickets still in hand, Port Qasim looked on course to set National Bank a massive victory target, but then the weather intervened on their behalf; no play was possible on days three and four.
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) moved to second on the points table with a five-wicket win over Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), in Faisalabad. The win was set up by a 15-wicket haul from left-arm spinner, Zulfiqar Babar.
WAPDA chose to bowl, and Babar proved effective even on a first-day track, picking up 7 for 81 to shoot out PIA for 160 in less than 50 overs. WAPDA then took a 78-run lead, despite none of their batsmen kicking on from starts - only No. 3 Mohammad Ayub got to a half-century, and even he couldn't manage more than 65. Babar continued where he left off, in the second innings, claiming an eight-for this time round. That meant, despite a 183-run fifth-wicket stand between centurion Sohaib Khan Sr and Faisal Iqbal - who made 87 - WAPDA needed just 207 for victory. They were off to a poor start in the chase, losing their top four for an aggregate of 15 runs, but scores of 83 apiece from Nos. 5 and 6, Ali Rafiq and Aamer Sajjad made sure Babar's figures didn't go to waste.
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited did not take a point from their drawn game against Habib Bank Limited, in Lahore, but still have a healthy lead at the top of the points table.
Sui Gas chose to bowl and the decision backfired on them, with Habib Bank getting to 450 courtesy a solid showing from their middle order; four middle-order batsmen got scores between 78 and 85. Despite their top seven getting into double digits, Sui Gas could not overhaul that score, giving Habib Bank three points for the first-innings lead. Habib Bank's batsmen did not do as well in their second essay, falling to 178 for 8, but having batted out 118 overs in the first innings, they had eaten into enough time to ensure a defeat was unlikely. And so it was, the match ending in a draw, with Sui Gas legspinner Yasir Shah adding two more wickets to his first-innings haul of four.
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