Karachi Blues dominate Faisalabad
Karachi Blues maintained the upper hand against Faisalabad, reducing them to 195 for 7 in the second innings, a lead of just 123, at the National Stadium in Karachi. Having secured a handy first-innings advantage, the home bowlers kept things tight with regular strikes through the day. Faisalabad struggled to force the pace, and only opener Qaiser Iqbal managed to come to terms with the conditions, scoring 72. Tabish Khan picked up two wickets, while five other bowlers finished the day with a wicket each in an efficient bowling effort.
Habib Bank Limited lost their top three against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited' seamers in the ten overs of play possible on another rain-marred day at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Asad Ali picked up two wickets, getting Shan Masood to edge behind and trapping Rehan Rafiq in front for a duck. Imran Ali did his bit from the other end, having BM Shafayat caught behind as HBL stumbled to 36 for 3. The match state leaves HBL's chances of forcing an outright win in doubt, which offers a chance for the other contenders to force their way past in the points table and make the finals.
Sialkot seized the initiative against Rawalpindi after fighting back on the second third day at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot. They had been reduced to 89 for 5 at the end of the second day, but the lower middle-order stepped up to take the score to 209. Shehzad Malik top scored with 46, and was helped by useful contributions from Nabeel Malik (28) and Faisal Rasheed (31). Seamer Rizwan Akbar picked up five wickets, but his batsmen were to have a tough time in their reply. Fast bowler Waqas Ahmed rattled the Rawalpindi top order with three wickets, but Zahid Mansoor and Jamal Anwar helped the team recover with a 57-run stand. Sialkot, however, hit back to remove both before stumps to leave the opposition on 86 for 5, still 123 behind. Rawalpindi are second on the points table and first-innings will take them closer to Habib Bank Lead, who top Division One.
No play was possible on the third day between Multan and Islamabad at the Multan Cricket Stadium. Nor was there any play in Faisalabad for the game between Water and Power Development Authority and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited. The contest between National Bank of Pakistan and Pakistan International Airlines at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground was washed out for the third straight day.