Kaneria takes seven-for in HBL victory
A seven-wicket haul by Danish Kaneria, the Pakistan legspinner, took Habib Bank Limited to an innings-and-27-run victory over Islamabad at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad. Kaneria, who is battling to gain clearance to play for the national team, now has 23 wickets in the season, including three five-wicket hauls, and HBL have three wins out of four games. Islamabad were already on the ropes at the start of the third day, having conceded a 293-run first-innings lead when they were bowled out for 108 on the second day. Their top order put up a better fight following on, and they reached 107 before losing their first wicket.
Fahad Masood, who had five wickets in the first innings, made the initial breakthrough and then Kaneria took over. A flurry of wickets left Islamabad 197 for 7 before a 65-run eighth-wicket partnership between Imad Wasim, who scored 47, and Shehzad Azam. That stand only delayed the inevitable, though, and Islamabad were bowled out for 266. Umair Khan had given the hosts brief hope of salvaging something from the game with his 96, but the rest of the batting did not do enough to erase the huge first-innings deficit.
Offspinner Tahir Khan and fast bowler Ali Imran took seven wickets between them, as Pakistan International Airlines notched up their first victory of the season, against Karachi Blues at the National Stadium in Karachi. Karachi could only add 11 runs to their first-innings overnight score of 136 for 8, leaving them 303 runs behind. PIA enforced the follow-on and Karachi lost wickets steadily to fold for 254. Javed Mansoor scored 84, but Karachi's highest partnership was worth just 53. Imran, who had taken four wickets in the first innings, added another three, while Tahir took four.
Left-arm quick Saad Altaf's second five-wicket haul in as many games gave State Bank of Pakistan an easy win against Abbottabad at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium. The hosts' bowlers brought them back into the game, taking eight wickets for 96 runs on the third day to leave SBP with a first-innings lead of just 61 when it looked like they would have more after reaching 250 for 2 on the second. However, Abbottabad's batsmen wasted that comeback by getting skittled for 106 in their second innings. Altaf ran through Abbottabad's line-up, finishing with 6 for 36, and was supported by seamer Rizwan Haider, who took 3 for 24. That left SBP with a meagre target of 46 and they got there with eight wickets in hand. Abbottabad have now lost all four of the matches they have played this season.
Faisalabad's batsmen managed to resist National Bank of Pakistan on the third day at the Iqbal Stadiumin Faisalabad, and ended it with four wickets still in hand in their first innings and a draw looking the most likely result. Faisalabad's aim was always going to be to try to save the game after NBP declared their first innings on 539 for 4, and they made fair progress towards achieving that goal on the third day. Most of Faisalabad's top order made contributions though none went on to get a big score. Opener Farrukh Shehzad and Zeeshan Butt got half-centuries while Asif Hussain scored 47. A few wickets late in the day gave NBP some hope of forcing a win but they will need to take 14 wickets on the last day.
Rawalpindi hold the edge in their match against Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium despite collapsing for 162 on the third day. ZTBL lost a couple of early wickets in their chase of 255 and their batsmen will need to recover on the final day if they are to stop Rawalpindi from attaining a first win of the season. Fifteen wickets fell in total on the day, with ZTBL losing their last three of the first innings cheaply before dismissing Rawalpindi for 162.
Left-arm seamer Mohammad Khalil stayed at the top of the season's wicket-taking charts, taking three wickets in Rawalpindi's second innings while seamer Rehan Riaz also picked up three. Rawalpindi's top order had given them a solid platform but they collapsed from 96 for 2. That gave ZTBL hope, but two strikes from left-arm fast bowler Sadaf Hussain, who took six wickets in the first innings, left them in a precarious position at 37 for 2.
Water and Power Development Authority are in danger of losing their 100% record for the season after Sialkot made a comeback via a Mohammad Ayub double-hundred at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot. The hosts had to overcome a 157-run first-innings deficit and had started the third day on 153 for 4. Ayub ensured they reached the big total they needed in their second innings to leave WAPDA 240 runs to win. Sialkot then made a couple of early inroads, and WAPDA will have to recover from 38 for 2 to win on the last day.
Ayub's 200 came off 242 balls, and took him to second in the season's run-charts. His 198-run stand with captain Mansoor Amjad, who scored 97, helped Sialkot amass 396. WAPDA had an awkward 14 overs to deal with at the end of the day and ended up losing two wickets to fast bowler Mohammad Abbas.