Rawalpindi's Sadaf Hussain shines with nine-for
Rawalpindi's left-arm fast bowler Sadaf Hussain claimed an astonishing 9 for 37 in 15.4 overs to demolish Habib Bank Limited (HBL) for 114 at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Hussain, 21, made best use of the conditions after Rawalpindi won the toss and seven of his wickets were either bowled or lbw. The only batsman to get away was Fahad Masood, who was dismissed by Nasir Malik. The captain Hasan Raza was HBL's top-scorer with 29. Rawalpindi, however, also struggled when they came out to bat, ending the day on 140 for 7, leading by only 26. HBL's new-ball attack of Masood and Sarmad Anwar took three wickets apiece. Seven Rawalpindi batsmen got into double figures but no one made more than Babar Naeem's 32.
State Bank of Pakistan's (SBP) bowlers chipped away steadily to reduce Islamabad to 227 for 7 at the end of day one at the Diamond Club Ground. SBP struck two early blows after they chose to field before Islamabad had a steadying 79-run stand for the third wicket between Afaq Raheem and Zeeshan Mushtaq. After that, however, wickets fell at regular intervals and Zeeshan was the first of three successive batsmen to be dismissed on 29. Raheem remained steadfast through the day, ending on 89 not out off 228 balls. Fast bowler Saad Altaf finished with 3 for 48 for SBP.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) were struggling at 72 for 4 against Faisalabad before Shoaib Khan snr rescued them with a century at the Iqbal Stadium. Fahad Iqbal, who scored a run-a-ball 62, sparked the revival and Shoaib joined him, making an unbeaten 116 off 99 balls with 11 fours and a six. Shoaib added 175 for the sixth wicket with wicketkeeper-captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who made 87, and led PIA to 352 for 6 at stumps. Abdur Rauf and Waqas Maqsood took two wickets each and had given Faisalabad a bright start before the tables were turned.
Seventeen wickets fell on the first day between Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) and Sialkot at the Jinnah Stadium and at the end of it ZTBL were best placed to earn a slender first-innings lead. Sialkot's bowlers ran riot after their captain Mansoor Amjad chose to field and Mohammad Abbas dismissed five of the top six batsmen. ZTBL were floundering at 63 for 7 before Zohaib Khan made 44 and Mohammad Khalil 24 to nearly double the score. ZTBL were eventually shot out for 121 in 46 overs. Prince Abbas and Mohammad Imran shared the other five wickets between them. Sialkot's batsmen, however, fared as badly when they came out to try and consolidate the advantage created by their bowlers. ZTBL's new-ball attack of Sohail Tanvir and Khalil took seven wickets between them as Sialkot ended the day on 71 for 7. Mohammad Ayub was their top-scorer with 30 and they will need a lower-order resistance like ZTBL's to avoid conceding a lead.
National Bank of Pakistan's (NBP) bowlers dismissed Abbottabad for 222 to give their team the edge on the first day at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium. The new-ball pair of Mohammad Talha and Umaid Asif took three wickets apiece, while Uzair-ul-Haq and Umar Amin took two each. Though five out of the top six Abbottabad batsman got into double figures, no one made more than Hammad Ali's 28. They would have been worse off had Khalid Usman not made an unbeaten 82 off 91 balls at No. 7. Usman eventually ran out of partners. NBP lost opener Nasir Jamshed in their reply and ended on 37 for 1 at stumps.
Azhar Attari and Imran Khan claimed four Karachi Blues wickets each to help Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) dismiss the home side for 144 at the National Stadium. Karachi Blues were tottering at 70 for 6 before Tanvir Ahmed scored 44 off 54 balls to help steer them past 100. WAPDA also struggled in their innings, losing three wickets for 14 runs to be reduced to 48 for 3. They ended the day on 75 for 3 and will hope their middle-order batsmen can take a substantial lead on the second day.