ZTBL well placed for victory push
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) were well placed to push for victory against Islamabad at the end of the second day at the Diamond Club Ground. Islamabad had been reduced to 98 for 4 in their second innings, still trailing ZTBL by 148 runs. Their openers had put on 58 for the first wicket, before four batsmen fell for 26 runs. Junaid Nadir took 2 for 42 for ZTBL, while Rehan Riaz and Junaid Zia claimed a scalp each. The bowlers consolidated the advantage ZTBL's batsmen had secured in the first innings. Though Imran Nazir got out early, having added only three runs to his overnight 105, Faisal Akhtar scored 69 and Haris Sohail 71 to lead ZTBL to 369, taking a lead of 246. Zohaib Ahmed took 4 for 86 for Islamabad.
An unbeaten century from Shoaib Khan and 97 from Fahad Iqbal helped Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) take a commanding lead against Abbottabad on the second day at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium. PIA began the morning session on 106 for 3, trailing Abbottabad's first-innings total by 69. Kamran Sajid added 18 to his overnight score of 51 before he was the first batsman to ball, with PIA on 140 for 4. Fahad then added 177 runs with Shoaib for the fifth wicket, building a substantial lead. Fahad missed his century, falling to Ikramullah Khan, but Shoaib went on to end the day on 130 off 192 balls. PIA were 408 for 8 at stumps, ahead by 233.
An eventful second day at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium ended with Rawalpindi battling to stretch their second innings and set Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) a testing target. Play began with WAPDA on 68 for 4 in their first innings, in response to Rawalpindi's 159. The hosts struck two early blows but a brace of thirties from Naved-ul-Hasan and Sarfraz Ahmed ensured WAPDA edged to 173, a slender lead of 14. Mohammad Ayaz took 5 for 64 for Rawalpindi, while Sadaf Hussain took 4 for 52. Naved-ul-Hasan then began to cut through Rawalpindi's top order, on his way to figures of 5 for 84. Wickets fell at regular intervals at one end, but at the other, Usman Saeed was steady, scoring at a brisk clip to remain unbeaten on 110 off 160 balls at stumps. He steered Rawalpindi to 223 for 8, leading by 209 overall, and will hope to score as much as he can on the third morning.
Centuries from Qaiser Abbas and Kamran Akmal helped National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) amass 481 in the first innings against Sialkot on the second day at the Jinnah Stadium. NBP were 345 for 5 at the start of play and lost Akmal early. He was 131 overnight and was out for 146 off 186 balls. Abbas, who was not out on 162, added 74 with Wasim Khan for the eighth wicket but the rest of the lower-order batsmen fell cheaply. Prince Abbas and Mohammad Abbas, Sialkot's new-ball attack, took four wickets each. Sialkot ended the day on 125 for 2, with Mohammad Yasin on 61 and Naved Sarwar on 34, trailing by 356.
State Bank of Pakistan's (SBP) new-ball bowlers wrested the advantage from Faisalabad on the second day in Sargodha. Saad Altaf, a left-arm fast bowler, took 3 for 50, while left-arm spinner Mohammad Ali picked up 2 for 28 to leave Faisalabad on 90 for 5 at stumps. They had been 20 for 4 at one stage before Naved Latif scored an unbeaten 40. The day had begun with SBP well placed on 223 for 3 in their first innings but three wickets fell for 31 runs and they were 260 for 6. Rizwan Haider scored 62 off 82 balls at No. 8 to lead his team to 356. Medium-pacer Naseer Akram took 5 for 70 for Faisalabad.
Habib Bank Limited (HBL) began the second day against Karachi Blues on 329 for 4 but were soon dismissed for only 376 at the National Stadium. Khaqan Asral, who resumed his innings on 48, made 56 before he was out. The rest of the middle and lower-order batsmen crumbled against Tanvir Ahmed and Atif Maqbool, who took 5 for 82 and 5 for 174. Karachi Blues' chase got off to a shaky start with both openers gone with only 46 on the board. Asif Zakir held up one end with a half-century but no one converted their starts at the other and wickets fell at regular intervals. Karachi Blues ended the day on 220 for 5, trailing by 156 runs. Legspinner Danish Kaneria took 3 for 85 for HBL.