Quetta stare at another defeat
Perennial makeweights Quetta were headed for their seventh defeat of the season after folding for 154 in their first innings against Pakistan Television in Rawalpindi. The day had started promisingly for Quetta as their bowlers polished off PTV's final six wickets for 22 to limit them to 363 after they had begun on 331 for 4. The wickets continued to tumble when Quetta batted, as they struggled to string together partnerships. After Saad Altaf did the early damage, left-arm spinner Yasim Murtaza and seamer Zahoor Khan bagged three wickets each to bundle out Quetta. In the second innings, Quetta had reached 50 for 1 by stumps.
Abbottabad fought hard on the second day but couldn't prevent Hyderabad from taking the lead at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium. Hyderabad moved to a strong 96 for 1 in reply to Abbottabad's 222 before double-strikes from Abdul Manan and Wajid Ali reduced them to 142 for 5. Shahid Qambrani's 60 then provided the steel Hyderabad needed to sneak a 12-run first-innings lead. Abbottabad had crumbled to 24 for 4 on the first day but their top-order showed more strength second time round, taking the side to 56 for 1 by stumps.
State Bank of Pakistan were fancying their chances of moving top of the table after posting 553 for 6 against Lahore Shalimar in Sargodha. Naved Yasin extended his overnight score of 83 to 151 and eighties from Afsar Nawaz and Gulraiz Sadaf left the Lahore bowlers gasping. SBP scored at a healthy 4.63 runs an over and were also helped by the 61 extras given away by Lahore's bowling. Lahore's batsmen started strongly, though, ending the day on 150 for 2.
Another team pushing to be table-toppers, Khan Research Laboratories, demolished Lahore Ravi in the first innings at Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. On a dramatic day on which 14 wickets went down, Lahore were shot out for 75 to be left staring at their fifth defeat of the season. It could have been even worse for Lahore, who were 15 for 6 after KRL's new-ball bowlers Yasir Arafat and Mohammad Irfan took three apiece. A 37-run seventh-wicket stand between Zeeshan Ali and Asif Raza accounted for nearly half of Lahore's total. They fared better in the second innings, with opener Abid Ali's 68 guiding them to 108 for 2.
In a truncated day's play in Peshawar, Karachi Whites and Peshawar were locked in a battle for the first-innings lead. Peshawar lost their final wicket for the addition of six runs to end up on 372, after which a century from Wajihuddin took Karachi to 253 for 4. He was involved in two sizable partnerships to revive Karachi after they slipped to 12 for 2: first worth 81 for the third wicket with Asif Zakir, and then added 140 for the fourth with Rameez Aziz (64*).