Faisalabad close in on first win
Faisalabad have an excellent chance of picking up their first win of the season as Multan lead them by just 118 runs with one wicket in hand at the Bahawal Stadium in Bahawalpur. That Multan even lead by that much was due largely to Kashif Naved's remarkable 97, which is 45 more than anyone else has managed so far. Coming in at No.7, Naved decided to go after the bowling, smashing 15 fours in his 108-ball effort, and was unfortunate to miss out on a hundred, edging one to the keeper off Zeeshan Butt. In contrast, opener Zaka-ul-Rashid needed 172 balls to make 54, as he battled for four hours and four minutes. Butt and Hasan Mahmood picked up three wickets each, to leave Multan 207 for 9 at stumps. Only 10 wickets fell on day two, after 19 batsmen made the walk back to the pavilion yesterday.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited trail Habib Bank Limited by 37 runs with seven wickets in hand in their second innings at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. HBL started the day on 130 for 4, and Hasan Raza and Aftab Alam extended their fifth-wicket partnership to 84 before Alam was bowled by Rehan Riaz for 44. Raza went on to make 60, and Kamran Hussain chipped in with 42 down the order, the two sharing 60-run partnership for the seventh wicket, to take HBL to 299. Mohammad Khalil bagged 5 for 64 for ZTBL. Openers Yasir Hameed and Inam-ul-Haq then set about erasing the deficit, adding 124 together, but three quick wickets at the end, two to Pakistan legspinner Danish Kaneria, titled the game firmly in HBL's favour. HBL and ZTBL are currently tied for second in the points table with 39 points each.
Sialkot took control of their game against Karachi Blues at the National Stadium in Karachi on the backs of a mammoth stand between centurions Mohammad Ayub and 22-year-old allrounder Mansoor Amjad, and the pace bowling of Imran Malik. Ayub and Amjad, who has played one ODI for Pakistan, added 289, with the former making 134 and the latter 157, in the visitor's total of 389 for 9 declared. Malik then took 4 for 22 from 14 stingy overs, to leave Karachi reeling at 136 for 8. Rameez Raja and Murtaza Majeed, with 37 and 35 respectively, were the only two batsmen to go past 20.
National Bank of Pakistan rebounded from a poor first innings to edge ahead in their game against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. NBP took the last 8 SNGP wickets for just 62 runs to dismiss them for 135, before the openers added 73 to extend their lead to 88. Resuming on 73 for 2, Naeemuddin was the only batsman to offer any resistance, making 48 in a little under four hours, as wickets tumbled all around him. Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal had a banner day behind the stumps, grabbing six catches, as four bowlers shared the nine wickets to fall (Samiullah Khan was absent hurt).
The game between Water and Power Development Authority and Pakistan International Airlines was evenly poised at the Marghzar Cricket Ground in Islamabad, after PIA took a 13-run first-innings lead, and extended it to 81 by the close of play. Rafatullah Mohmand was the only WAPDA batsman to go past 50, making 57 before becoming one of Anwar Ali's three victims. He shared in a stand worth 57 with Aamer Sajid, who made 35. Aizaz Cheema took 4 for 57 to lead the bowlers. Agha Sabir made 41, before retiring hurt, to take PIA to 68 for 2.
A maiden ton from Shoib Nasir and half-centuries from Babar Naeem and Zahid Mansoor put Rawalpindi in command of their game against Islamabad at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad. Nasir, playing just his fourth first-class game, made 110, and added 126 for the fourth wicket with Naeem, who made a rapid 66-ball 58, striking 11 fours. Both batsmen were bowled by Fakhar Hussain, who finished with 5 for 56, his first career five-wicket haul. Mansoor was unbeaten on 59, having put on 71 with Jamal Anwar for the eighth wicket, as Rawalpindi ended the day on 353 for 7.