Rawalpindi hand WAPDA first defeat
Rawalpindi handed Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) their first loss of the tournament by 108 runs at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Usman Saeed's unbeaten 111, an extraordinary knock considering no one else on either side went past 36, helped set WAPDA a middling target of 211. But they struggled in the chase from the start and lost half their side for 41 as the Rawalpindi bowlers seized the advantage. The procession of wickets continued and they succumbed for 102. Three bowlers did all the damage. Sadaf Hussain took 4 for 36, Mohammad Ayaz 3 for 25, giving him 8 for 89 for the match, while Haseeb Azam took 2 for 25.
Ali Imran starred with ball in the second innings as well as Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) romped past Abbottabad by an innings and two runs on the third day at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium. PIA declared on their overnight score of 408 for 8, leaving Abbotabad needing 223 to bat again. They got to off to a nightmarish start in their second innings, losing Fawad Khan with just four runs on the board before Imran struck four times to reduce them to 6 for 5. Almar Afridi stood tall amongst the ruins, making an unbeaten 102, and sharing in two big partnerships; 96 with Rameez Ahmed (35) and 110 with Khalid Usman (71), to take their side to the brink of making PIA bat again. But after Usman fell to Najaf Shah, Imran snapped up the last two wickets to end the game and finish with 6 for 41 in the innings and 12 for 89 in the match.
Rehan Riaz picked up five wickets as Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) thumped Islamabad by an innings and 28 runs inside three days at the Diamond Club Ground. Islamabad began the day on 98 for 4, still trailing by 148 runs and promptly slumped to 124 for 8. Naeem Injum (66) and Nasrullah Khan (27) delayed the inevitable with an 81-run partnership, but the result was never in doubt. It was only a question of whether Islamabad could hold out long enough to make ZTBL bat again. Riaz finished with 5 for 52, while Junaid Nadir picked up another three wickets to end the match with figures of 8 for 71. Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulquarnain Haider took five catches in the innings.
Saad Altaf, a left-arm fast bowler, and left-arm spinner Mohammad Ali took five wickets apiece as State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) pressed home their advantage against Faisalabad in Sargodha. The pair combined to dismiss Faisalabd for 153 in the first innings, with Altaf picking up 5 for 84 and Ali 5 for 52, while Naved Latif top scored with 56. SBP chose to enforce the follow on and the two bowlers took three early wickets to have Faisalabad tottering on 34 for 3 before Asif Hussain (43*) and Zeeshan Butt gave them some hope with an unbroken 82-run parternship. They still trail by 87, though, heading into the final day.
Sialkot were forced to follow on against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) on the third day at the Jinnah Stadium, despite scoring 314. Opener Mohammad Yasin led the way with a painstaking 95 that took six hours and 14 minutes, and Mansoor Amjad made 57, but there were no other substantial contributions. Umaid Asif was the pick of the bowlers, with four wickets, while three other bowlers took two apiece. Trailing by 167, Yasin had to retire hurt on 1 but Majid Jehangir and Faisal Khan made sure there were no more losses, taking their side to 29 at close.
Karachi Blues' line-up made contributions all through, to help their side gain an 18-run first-innings' lead against Habib Bank Limited (HBL) at the National Stadium in Karachi. Resuming on 220 for 5, Karachi Blues went on to make 394 as all their middle and lower order got into double figures, without going past 50. Shahid Nazir and Danish Kaneria were the main contributors with the ball, picking up four wickets apiece. HBL's openers - Shan Masood and Ahmed Shehzad - then began strongly for the second time in this match, putting on 80, albeit at a slow pace, before stumps was called.