|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
December 27, 2010
Babar Naeem led Rawalpindi to what was ultimately a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Faisalabad with an attacking half-century at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Naeem made an unbeaten, run-a-ball 83, the highest score of the game, as the hosts made light of what could have been a tough chase in a low-scoring game. After 31 wickets had fallen on the first two days, only two fell on the third day as Naeem and Shoaib Nasir added 74 for the second wicket to effectively seal the win and take them to second place in the points table.
National Bank of Pakistan moved up to fourth in the table after completing a seven-wicket win over table-toppers Habib Bank Ltd at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal continued to put pressure on Pakistan's selectors to recall him to the national side; his 70 off 62 ensured NBP raced to their 153-run target. HBL gave themselves a sniff of a chance of getting back into the match with three early wickets, but Kamran and Naumanullah put together an unbeaten 108-run fourth-wicket stand to see NBP home. HBL seamer Sarmad Anwar took two early wickets as NBP were tottering at 45 for 3, before Akmal came in and took the game away from HBL.
Islamabad needed only 17.3 overs on the third day to complete a comprehensive win against Sialkot at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad. The margin in the end was an innings and 50 runs, as Sialkot collapsed to 138 all out in their second innings. It was only a slight improvement from their first innings, when they were bowled out for 131 and it was the Islamabad seamers once again who took all the wickets. Nasrullah Khan finished with nine wickets in the match, Fakhar Hussain added two scalps to his first-innings tally of six, and Rauf Akbar, who missed out in the first innings, too three in the second. Sialkot started the day at 51 for 4, and lost wickets at regular intervals on the third morning. Captain Mansoor Ajmad managed 59, but he was one of only four Sialkot batsmen to reach double figures.
Multan sunk to their tenth straight defeat, as Karachi Blues beat them by eight wickets at the National Stadium in Karachi. Karachi's win had been a foregone conclusion since they bowled Multan out for 65 on the first day. The visitors started the third day at 205 for 8 in their second innings, just five runs ahead of Karachi. Mazhar Bashir got a few quick runs on the third morning, getting to 55 not out of 66, and Multan set Karachi an easy 50 runs to win. Seamer Tabish Khan took Multan's two remaining wickets to finish with 6 for 79 in the second innings and 11 wickets in the match. Karachi lost two early wickets, but didn't waste too much time, knocking off the required runs in 10 overs.
Asad Ali bowled Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited back into their game against Water and Power Development Authority at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground, taking seven wickets in WAPDA's second innings to restrict them to 257 after they had reached 154 for 3. Asad first removed Nawaz Sardar for 69 before Ali Azmat was run out for 3. Ammer Sajjad and Ahmer Said added 43 before Asad struck again, having Sajad caught behind for 57. The lower order then capitulated, as Asad finished with 7 for 105 to give him match figures of 11 for 174. Chasing 344 to win, SNGPL lost Yasir Arafat without scoring but Naeemuddin, who is not out on 74, added 83 with and Jahanzeb Abdullah and 40 with Khurram Shehzad to take his team to 123 for 2, leaving them requiring 221 for victory on the last day.
Pakistan batsman Shoib Malik's half-century helped Pakistan International Airlines extend their lead over Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited to 249 with two second-innings wickets remaining at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. Malik made a determined 55 after PIA had slumped to 88 for 5 and then 108 for 6, finding enough support in Tahir Khan, who made 24, to add 62 for the seventh wicket. Seamer Rehan Riaz did the damage for ZTBL, taking 6 for 48 from 20 overs.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Both teams face contrasting opponents in their next Test series. While West Indies will be tested against stronger teams, Bangladesh have it easier but without much to gain