HBL slip up on bowler-dominated day
The seamers had a ball on the opening day of the contest between Habib Bank Limited and National Bank of Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Eighteen wickets fell with NBP edging out the day, 74 runs ahead and with two wickets in hand. HBL, currently leading the Division One table, were skittled out for 116, with Hasan Raza, the captain, managing a top score of 24. Medium-pacer Uzair-ul-Haq led the wickets tally with four, and was supported by Wasim Khan and Mohammad Talha who took three each.
The NBP reply began on a positive note with openers Nasir Jamshed and Rashid Riaz adding 50, but wickets then fell at a steady pace with only Qaiser Abbas, in the middle order, being able to measure up to the bowling. He counterattacked in his 34-ball 46, but seamer Sajid Shah picked up a five-for to limit NBP to 190 for 8 at stumps.
Sialkot held a slight edge over Islamabad at the end of the first day at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad. Islamabad, being put in, began poorly, losing their openers for zeroes. But the middle order launched a recovery with Faizan Riaz and Rashid Amin adding 101, with more assistance down the order as Imad Wasim and captain Rauf Akbar put together an unbeaten 74 for the ninth wicket. Prince Abbas, the seamer, grabbed four wickets, and Asim Butt chipped in with three to leave Islamabad at 291 for 8 at stumps. However, they would rue not breaking the ninth-wicket stand which got together at 219 for 8.
No surprises with Multan, as they were yet again bowled out for a score under 100 and appear to be on their way to a tenth straight defeat in the tournament. Karachi Blues ended the day at the National Stadium in Karachi in a dominant position, leading by 129 in the first innings with five wickets still in hand. The fast bowlers, again, made merry, with Tabish Khan and Babar Rehman taking five wickets each. Wicketkeeper Waqas Khan was the top-scorer for Multan, with 18, and it took only 24 overs for the Karachi bowlers to get the job done. Opener Asad Baig guided the Karachi reply with an unbeaten 82 and even though the Multan bowlers made inroads, taking five wickets, defeat still looms large for their side.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited held the advantage over Pakistan International Airlines at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. Shoaib Malik continued his good form in the tournament, top-scoring with 108 and rescuing the innings via an 89-run stand with Sheharyar Ghani, who chipped in with 70. At 221 for 5, PIA would have hoped for a substantial score but left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir ran through the middle order to restrict PIA for 297, seize the initiative and put ZTBL in a good position going into the second day.
Sadaf Hussain picked up a five-for to help skittle Faisalabad out for 153, but he was upstaged by Nasir Hayat, who also took five wickets as Rawalpindi limped to 94 for 8 by the close of play. Opener Farrukh Shehzad rattled along to 79 from 108 balls, with 15 fours, but the rest of the batsmen on both sides found it tough going at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, with no one else even reaching 20. Sadaf ran through the the top and middle orders, taking the first five wickets to fall, as Faisalabad slumped to 37 for 5, and it took a seventh-wicket stand of 56 between Shehzad and Hasan Mahmood to carry the visitors past the three-figure mark. Sadaf finished with figures of 5 for 64. The Rawalpindi batsmen then showed even greater ineptitude, with Nasir and Ahmaed Hayat running riot. Nasir picked up 5 for 32 from 11 overs, while Hayat had figures of 3 for 23, also from 11 overs.
Asad Ali and Yasir Shah took four wickets apiece as Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited dismissed Water and Power Development Authority for 227 at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground . SNGPL chose to field and WAPDA's openers added 43 before Adil Raza struck to remove Rafatullah Mohmand for 25. The next three wickets fell quickly, with Yasir taking two of them, to leave WAPDA struggling at 79 for 4. Sohaib Maqsood and Ali Azmat then came together to add 118, before Yasir prised out Maqsood for 69 and Asad had Azmat caught behind for 38 with the song on 197. Asad then ran through the tail as the last four wickets added just 30 runs. In reply, SNGPL limped to 25 for 2, with Kashif Raza picking up both wickets