Karachi Blues in sight of big win over ZTBL
Karachi Blues strode towards their first win of the season by taking nine wickets on the third day against Zarai Taraqiati Bank at the National Stadium. ZTBL were at a precarious 128 for 7 overnight, and despite Sohail Tanvir's 72 they could only manage 192 before being bowled out. Karachi Blues enforced the follow-on, and the ZTBL top order again folded cheaply. From 32 to 4, half-centuries from their captain Imran Nazir and Zohaib Khan helped ZTBL push the match to the fourth day, though they were still 34 runs behind Karachi with only four wickets in hand.
Habib Bank Limited were left to chase 367 against Abbottabad at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium after Danish Karenia's five-for restricted Abbottabad to 250 in their second innings. The major contributions came from Rameez Ahmed and Riaz Kail who both made 58, the latter unbeaten, while opener Fawad Khan made 48. Ahmed was Kaneria's first victim, and he added two more to have Abbottabad in some trouble at 154 for 6, but Mir Azam (33) and Kail added 69 for the seventh wicket to set up a challenging total. HBL were 43 for no loss at the close of play.
It was slow progress for Islamabad at the Diamond Club Ground but they finished the day at a solid 305 for 9, ahead of National Bank of Pakistan by 292. The first innings for both teams had been low-scoring affairs but Islamabad built on the platform provided on Thursday by the top order. The overnight batsmen, Umair Khan and Zeeshan Mushtaq, both went on to make half-centuries before cameos from Umair Mir and Shehzad Azam pushed the total beyond 300. The most effective of the NBP bowlers was medium-pacer Uzair-ul-Haq who took four wickets.
Water and Power Development Authority were in sight of victory after Faisalabad collapsed in their second innings in Sargodha. Fast bowler Imran Khan and left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar ran through the Faisalabad line-up after they were in a strong position at 145 for 3, an overall lead of 229. Faisalabad lost seven wickets for 29 runs to set WAPDA a target of 259. Imran finished with 5 for 37 while Babar took 3 for 44. WAPDA's top three failed to convert starts and they were 102 for 3 at one stage before unbeaten fifties from Aamer Sajjad and captain Naved-ul-Hasan took them to 205, 54 short of a win.
Pakistan International Airlines consolidated their position against Rawalpindi at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, bowling them out for 224 for a first-innings lead of 124 before cantering to 185 for 2 in their second innings. Babar Naeem's half-century carried Rawalpindi past 200 from their overnight score of 168 for 6 before Ali Imran took 5 for 54 to wrap up the innings. PIA had a strong start with Kamran Sajid (63) and Agha Sabir (34) putting on 65 upfront. Sheharyar Ghani was unbeaten on a brisk 58 with Faisal Iqbal for company as PIA ended the day 309 in front.
Sialkot ensured they will get first-innings points as their match against State Bank of Pakistan at the Jinnah Stadium headed for a draw. Sialkot consolidated on their strong overnight position of 187 for 2 - their captain Mansoor Amjad top-scored with 91 to lead them to 316 for 3, just 26 short of SBP's first-innings score. Sialkot then collapsed dramatically, losing their final seven wickets for 42. Fast bowler Waqas Ahmed finished with five wickets for SBP, though with three days completed and the third innings of the match having just commenced an outright result is unlikely.