WAPDA complete second two-day win in a row
Water and Power Development Authority, for the second straight time this competition, won a game inside two days. They beat Multan by ten wickets at the Bahawal Stadium in Bahawalpur to continue to keep their place at the top of the table with three wins in four games. On a day when 15 wickets fell, it was Multan who first fought back to bowl out their opponents for 197 and limit the lead to 86. For WAPDA, the fifth-wicket pair of Hasan Adnan and Ali Azmat had added 72 but things soon began to go downhill. Fast bowler Abdur Rauf, who has represented Pakistan, ran through the middle and lower orders to finish with 5 for 64.
Any hopes that Multan may have had of turning the tables were dashed by a combined bowling effort from WAPDA in the second innings. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals as seamers Attari, Naved-ul-Hasan and Sarfraz Ahmed ensured their team's lead played a decisive role in the outcome. Only opener Zaka-ul-Rashid (32) and Taimur Ahmed (41) offered any resistance and once they had been dismissed, the innings took little time to fold as Azmat, with his useful left-arm spin, ran through to the tail and skittle out Multan for 104. The WAPDA openers needed a little under four overs to knock off the required 19 runs.
Pakistan International Airlines put themselves in control of their contest against Faisalabad at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. They had finished well on the first day, reaching 259 for 4, and Shoaib Malik ensured the advantage stayed with PIA with his maiden double-century in first-class cricket. His 200 came at a steady pace, off 313 balls, and was laced with 21 fours and a six. His 238-run stand for the fifth wicket Shoaib Khan snr (71) had turned the tide in PIA's favour and their day ended on a high, as seamer Aizaz Cheema picked up three Faisalabad wickets to leave them at 79 for 3 in response to, what is now, a daunting 438 for 8 declared.
Centuries from Yasir Hameed and Shahid Yousuf gave Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited a lead that could well put the game out of Islamabad's reach at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad. The pair was involved in a 192-run stand for the third wicket that propelled ZTBL to 413 for 7 at stumps, a lead of 162. Hameed, who has opened for Pakistan in Tests, notched up his 17th first-class ton while Yousuf clearly was the more aggressive partner, smacking 22 fours and a six in his 162 which came off only 172 balls. There was an unbeaten 59 from Zohaib Khan down the order which added to Islamabad's frustration and they need to wrap up the innings early if they wish to give themselves any chance of a comeback.
Opener Ahmed Shehzad, who has played four ODIs and two Twenty20s for Pakistan, made an unbeaten 114 to put Habib Bank Limited on top against Sialkot at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot. He steered his team to 194 for 3 at stumps, just 78 adrift of Sialkot's 272 and with a great chance of securing a first-innings lead. HBL had finished day one with a slight edge but quickly went about converting that into dominance. Overnight batsman Shehzad Malik, who had made 69, was dismissed by seamer Shahid Nazir without any addition to his score. Wicketkeeper Ahmed Butt made 32 not out but the left-arm spinner Mohammad Aslam ensured there was little resistance from the tail, finishing with a five-for in his team's match to a commanding position.
Karachi Blues and National Bank of Pakistan fought a close contest on the second day at the National Stadium in Karachi. The NBP lower order resisted well to post a score of 349 despite losing half-centurion Fawald Alam early in the day. Qaiser Abbas chipped in with 43 while Mohammad Talha, at No.9, made 39. Seamer Babar Rehman picked up four wickets. In response, Karachi Blues began in dominating fashion with openers Naved Khan and Rameez Raja, who is also captain, hitting half-centuries and adding 129. There were more useful contributions from Akbar-ur-Rehman (43) and Ahmed Iqbal (31) but both fell before stumps and Karachi Blues ended on 231 for 5, very much in sight of a first-innings lead but with still much work to be done.
Rawalpindi finished the second day slightly ahead of Sui Northern Gas Piplelines Limited after gaining a handy first-innings lead at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. They seemed to be struggling at 48 for 3 after seamer Imran Ali, who finished with four wickets, had made early inroads. But the innings then received a boost with Zahid Mansoor's half-century. On a see-saw day, SNGPL struck back to reduce their opponents to 163 for 7 and looked good to secure the lead but the NBP lower order thwarted their attempts. Haseeb Azam (34), Nasir Malik (36) and Sadaf Hussain (22) each stepped up as wickets eight, nine and ten - the last of which is still active - added 108 between them. NBP finished the day on 271 for 9, a lead of 47.