Sarmad's four give HBL edge
In the top-of- the-table clash between Habib Bank Limited and Water and Power Development Authority, it was HBL who drew first blood, bowling WAPDA out for 239 after putting them in to bat on the first day at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad. HBL fast bowler Sarmad Anwar took 4 for 84, while Shoaib Maqsood was the only batsman to get a half-century for WAPDA, scoring 79. Maqsood had put WAPDA in a solid position of 178 for 4 at one stage, before Sarmad ran through the tail and WAPDA lost their last six wickets for 61 runs.
Fourteen wickets fell on the first day day at the Gymkhana Ground in Okara, as bottom-of-the-table Multan squandered their advantage against Sialkot. Multan bowled Sialkot out for 227 after putting them in to bat, thanks to fast bowler Abdur Rauf's five-wicket haul and left-arm spinners Ahmed Raza's four scalps. But by stumps, they had collapsed to 34 for 4 in response, conceding two wickets to each of Sialkot's new-ball duo of Waqas Ahmed and Prince Abbas. Sialkot left-arm spinner Nabeel Malik was the only batsman to reach a half-century on the first day, getting 78 off 86 balls.
It was another wicket-fest at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad, where Islamabad finished the day at 93 for 3, after bundling out Faisalabad for 181. Islamabad seamer Nasrullah Khan finished with figures of 5 for 50 as only three of Faisalabad's batsmen reached double figures. Opener Qaiser Iqbal and Hasan Mahmood got half-centuries for the home side, getting them to 122 for 2 at one stage, before the middle and lower-order collapsed.
Centuries by Umar Amin and Naumanullah put National Bank of Pakistan on top against Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot. NBP reached 307 for 5 after being put in to bat. It could have even better for them, as they were 268 for 2 at one stage, but part-time offspiner Inam-ul-Haq dismissed Amin and then ZTBL seamer Mohammad Khalil picked up two late wickets. Khalil finished with figures of 4 for 85 and solidified his position at the top of the season's wicket-takers chart. Naumanullah is still unbeaten on 100.
The game between Pakistan International Airlines and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited ended on par after the first day at the Marghzar Cricket Ground in Islamabad, with PIA reaching 262 for 6 after being put in to bat. Captain Kamran Sajid anchored PIA's innings, getting 94 not out, but SNGPL managed to get enough wickets at the other end to keep them in the game. The SNGPL bowlers lacked discipline, however, bowling 25 no-balls in the day, which meant extras, with 47, was PIA's second-highest scorer.
Rawalpindi took the advantage in their game against Karachi Blues at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, reducing them to 231 for 9 on the first day. Rawalpindi seamer Rizwan Akbar struck three early blows to reduce the visitors to 14 for 3. Atif Ali's 62 helped Karachi make a little bit of a recovery, but left-arm spinner Babar Naeem kept pegging away with the wickets. Rizwan finished with figures of 4 for 65 , while Naeem took 3 for 47.