Bowlers give WAPDA control against Islamabad
A strong bowling performance helped top-of-the-table Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) knock over Islamabad for 232 on the first day of their game at the Diamond Club Gound in Islamabad. Islamabad made a strong start with the openers adding 83 before Afaq Raheem was caught behind for 44. They were still well placed at 130 for 1 but then began to lose wickets in bunches. First they lost 5 wickets for 10 runs, with Naved-ul-Hasan and Sarfraz Ahmed picking up two apiece. Imad Wasim and Naeem Anjum briefly stemmed the rot, adding 35 together, before another 3 wickets fell for 20 runs. It was only an obdurate tenth-wicket stand worth 37 between Wasim and Nasrullah, who made 7 from 52 balls, that took them past 200. Naved was the pick of the bowlers, with figures of 4 for 66 from 28.5 overs.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) made a strong start to their match against Abbottabad, piling up a score of 305 for 3 at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium. Three of ZTBL's top five batsmen made half-centuries, two of them unbeaten, as Abbottabad's decision to bowl first backfired. After opener Sharjeel Khan went without scoring, Imran Nazir and Yasir Hameed added 121 before Hameed was out for 48. Nazir fell agonisingly short of a hundred, trapped lbw on 99, but that was the last success of the day for Abbottabad as Shahid Yousuf (77*) and Haris Sohail (73*) put on 142 and take their side to stumps.
Pakistan legspinner Danish Kaneria picked up four wickets as Faisalabad struggled to 219 for 8 against Habib Bank Limited (HBL) at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. Habib Bank chose to bowl and Fahad Masood removed the openers with only 14 on the board. Kaneria then took two wickets to end burgeoning partnerships, before Zeeshan Butt and Naved Latif came together to add 98 for the fifth wicket. Kaneria picked up his third wicket when he bowled Butt for 66. The home side were 207 for 5 at that stage but Zeeshan's dismissal triggered a mini-collapse and Faisalabad lost another three wickets for 12 runs, including Latif for 51, to hand HBL the advantage.
Asad Baig's unbeaten century guided Karachi Blues to a total of 247 for 4 against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) at the National Stadium in Karachi. Baig batted for six and a half hours to make exactly 100, and shared in three substantial partnerships. He added 56 with fellow opener Shahzaib Hasan (33), 87 with Khalid Latif (51) for the third wicket and 104 with Wajihuddin for the fourth before the latter was caught behind off Wahab Riaz for 48 off the last ball of the day.
Rameez Raja's painstaking half-century carried State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to 162 for 4 against Rawalpindi at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Only 68 overs were bowled in the day, and the openers started cautiously. Waqar Orakzai needed 101 balls, and two and a half hours, to make 20, while his partner was somewhat quicker, taking 51 balls, and 80 minutes, to make 27. Rameez Raja continued to bat in the same vein and progressed to 69 not out by the end of the day. Mohammad Rameez and Barbar Naeem took two wickets each.
Kamran Sajid's century ensured Sialkot toiled in the field and took Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to a strong 253 for 2 after the first day at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot. Opener Agha Sabir was bowled by Naved Arif for a duck but it was all PIA after that. Sajid added 153 for the second wicket with Sheharyar Ghani (68) and then a further 97 with Faisal Iqbal. He was not out on 122 at close, with Iqbal on 46.