Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal star on opening day
Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik sent a reminder to the national selectors with his ninth first-class century, to lead Faisalabad to 259 for 4 against Pakistan International Airlines at the Iqbal Stadium. Openers Agha Sabir and Shehzar Mohammad laid the groundwork with a 93-run stand that ruined Faisalabad's plans after choosing to field. Three wickets fell in quick succession, but Malik was in no mood to hand over the initiative and guided PIA through the day's play, finishing unbeaten on 112. Zeeshan Butt was the most incisive bowler, finishing with two scalps on a day when wickets were not easy to come by.
Table-toppers Water and Power Development Authority tormented wooden-spoon holders Multan rolling them over for 111 on the opening day in Bahawalpur. Opening bowlers Sarfraz Ahmed and Naved-ul-Hasan were in their element, sharing six wickets as Multan's batsmen struggled to find their feet. Waqas Khan made 23 and Ahmed Raza contributed 24 from No. 10 to push the score past the 100-run mark. WAPDA's reply got off to a rough start as well, with seamer Tahir Maqsood picking up two wickets to reduce them to 40 for 3, and later 79 for 4. Hasan Adnan and Ali Azmat weathered the storm with a 72-run stand to secure the lead. Azmat perished for 45 with stumps in sight, but Adnan remained unbeaten on 37.
Sialkot's batsmen failed to convert starts on the opening day at the Jinnah Stadium, finishing at 251 for 6 to give Habib Bank Limited the upper hand at stumps on day one. Five batsmen managed to cross 28, but only Shehzad Malik managed to reach the half-century mark, and his unbeaten 69 held the key for the hosts going into the second day. The left-arm pair of spinner Mohammad Aslam and seamer Kamran Hussain did the damage, picking up three wickets each.
A strong middle-order resistance helped National Bank of Pakistan recover from 20 for 2, but Karachi Blues hit back with regular strikes through the day to leave the game evenly poised at the National Stadium in Karachi. Opening bowlers Babar Rehman and Adeel Malik struck early to remove the openers cheaply, before Anwar Hafeez and Naumanullah stemmed the rot with a doughty partnership. The pair added 69 before Hafeez departed, one short of a half-century. Naumanullah struck ten fours but defended for the most part before perishing for 54, off the 163rd ball he faced. After his exit, NBP stepped on the gas through their international stars Kamran Akmal and Fawad Alam. Kamran launched an offensive, scoring 78 off 67 balls with ten fours and a six, adding 100 runs with Alam before falling to Adeel. Alam remained unbeaten on 53 at stumps and will hope to take his side to a dominant position from the first-day score of 251 for 5.
Rizwan Akbar and Nasir Malik finished with three wickets apiece, while Babar Naeem scalped two, as Rawalpindi bowled out Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited for 224 at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Captain Azhar Shafiq was the only batsman to offer resistance, scoring his 43rd first-class half-century to give the score some respectability. No. 8 Imran Khalid was the other significant contributor, his unbeaten 41 off 60 balls including seven hits to the boundary. Nasir was generous with no-balls and accounted for 12 of the 17 that Rawalpindi bowled, in addition to five wides, to push the score past 200.
Seamer Mohammad Khalil continued to impress, picking four wickets to take his tournament tally to 23, as Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited bowled Islamabad out for 251 at the Diamond Club Ground. Sohail Tanvir, who was excluded from Pakistan's Test squad at the last moment, began the slide by removing opener Nauman Masood with Islamabad still on zero. Tanvir continued to torment the top-order, picking three wickets, before Rashid Amin and Moed Ahmed fought back. Rashid scored 83 and Moed contributed 61 as Islamabad got back on an even keel through their 124-run association. Khalil then got into the act, and along with Junaid Zia, ran through the lower order to end Islamabad's innings in the 67th over. The hosts hit back by removing ZTBL's opener Inam-ul-Haq before stumps and honours remained even going into the second day.