Hyderabad and Pakistan Television in wicket-fest
An all-round bowling effort from Hyderabad ensured Pakistan Television were bundled out for 125 on the opening day at the Niaz Stadium. On a day when bowlers dominated from start to finish, Hyderabad did not fare much better against PTV's seamers, finishing the day at 101 for 5. PTV opener Imran Ali's 37 was the highest score from either side, and his 42-run opening stand with Raheel Majeed offered little indication of what was to follow. Legspinners Sharjeel Khan and Zahid Mahmood picked up three wickets each for Hyderabad before seamers Saad Altaf and Mohammad Ali did the damage when PTV bowled.
The events at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore were in complete contrast to those at the Niaz Stadium as Khan Research Laboratories galloped to a dominant 301 for 2 against Lahore Shalimar. Opener Ali Naqvi was the only batsman to fail after Shalimar chose to field. Saaed Anwar jnr struck 12 fours in his 67 to lay the foundation before Bazid Khan and Mohammad Wasim capitalised. Wasim, who has played for Pakistan at the highest level, brought up his 25th first-class ton by stumps, while Bazid remained six short of the landmark following the unbroken 178-run stand.
Opener Khalid Latif's 64 was the only resistance offered by Karachi Whites as State Bank of Pakistan bowled them out for 187 at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex. Seamer Bilawal Bhatti who picked up four wickets was the wrecker-in-chief for NBP after they chose to field. Rizwan Haider chipped in with three wickets as the hosts struggled to put together partnerships. Wajihuddin's (32) third-wicket stand of 53 with Latif guided them to 107 for 2 before the middle order misfired. SBP ensured they did not lose any wickets in the two overs they got to face, and hold all the aces going into the second day.
Three half-centuries from middle-order batsmen and one from a tail-ender helped Lahore Ravi survive Quetta seamer Gohar Faiz's maiden five-wicket haul and finish at 302 for 9 after an action packed day at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Faiz struck three early blows to leave Ravi stuttering at 37 for 3 before Fahad-ul-Haq and Sheraz Butt began the resistance. Fahad made 54 off 92 balls and added 111 with Sheraz to repair the innings before Quetta reclaimed the upper hand by claiming five wickets for 51 runs. Having batted through the collapse, Ashraf Ali ensured he did not fall by the wayside, and found a willing partner in No. 10 Tanzeel Altaf. The pair added 87 crucial runs to push Ravi towards 300 before Altaf fell for 51. Ashraf shepherded the last man Imran Haider to ensure his side was not bowled out on the first day, and was unbeaten on 72 at stumps.
Peshawar failed to build on the base laid by their openers and stumbled from 121 for 2 to 264 for 8 against Abbottabad at the Gohati Cricket Stadium in Swabi. Mohammad Fayyaz and Gauhar Ali stroked their way to a 72-run opening stand before things began to go awry for Peshawar. Fayyaz made 58 with 11 fours and Gauhar contributed 41 before Wajid Ali broke through. Ahmed Jamal and Mohammad Naeem got into the act as well as Peshawar's batsmen began to throw away starts. Jamal picked up four wickets before an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 95 between Nauman Habib and Riaz Afridi gave Peshawar some late cheer.