Ahmed Jamal puts Abbottabad on top
Seamer Ahmed Jamal put Abbottabad in control in their contest against Faisalabad, taking 6 for 25 at the Gohati Cricket Stadium in Swabi to bowl the opposition out for 74. Jamal was supported by left-arm spinner Khalid Usman, who took three wickets in an economical spell, and the pair ran through the Faisalabad line-up that lasted just 41.2 overs. Only one batsman went past double-figures, the No.8 Shoaib Shah. The extras contributed 18. In their response, Abbottabad lost three wickets before the close, Aqeel Ahmed grabbing two of them. Opener Mohammad Naeem was trapped in front for 44 but Rameez Ahmed remained unbeaten on 34. At stumps, Abbottabad had gained a 36-run lead with seven wickets in hand.
On a day of low scores, Habib Bank Limited held the advantage against Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Seamer Sarmad Anwar bagged six wickets to restrict ZTBL to 201. Yasir Hameed made 44 and though the lower middle-order chipped in with useful contributions - five of them reached double-figures - none were able to push on. In their reply, HBL were 33 without loss at stumps.
Timely breakthroughs helped Rawalpindi gain a slight edge over Islamabad at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad. Opener Afaq Raheem made 89 and was involved in an opening stand of 71 with Umair Khan that seemed to have set a solid platform. But allrounder Rashid Latif struck, taking four wickets and preventing another threatening stand from taking root. At one stage, Islamabad lost four wickets for 38 runs. The seventh-wicket pair of Faizan Riaz and wicketkeeper Naeem Anjum added an unbeaten 41 to take the score to 226 for 6 at stumps.
A collective bowling effort from State Bank of Pakistan limited National Bank of Pakistan to 282 at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. Half-centuries from Aqeel Anjum and wicketkeeper-captain Kamran Akmal had put NBP in a good position at 197 for 3 but they went on to lose their next seven wickets for 85 runs. Seamers Saad Altaf and Rizwan Haider grabbed three wickets and Kashif Siddiq grabbed a couple to polish the tail. In their response, SBP were seven without loss.
Pakistan International Airlines edged out a closely-fought day against Water and Power Development Authority at Marghzar Cricket Ground in Islamabad. Fast bowler Anwar Ali picked up four wickets that included a couple of early strikes that left WAPDA reeling at 48 for 5 at one stage. But Aamer Sajjad resisted with 69 and received some assistance from the lower order before he was dismissed by Anwar, who helped skittle out WAPDA for 178. WAPDA, however, staged a spirited fightback, seamer Naved-ul-Hasan taking three wickets. PIA had a horror start, reduced to 3 for 3, and then 57 for 5, but Fahad Iqbal, with an unbeaten half-century, wrested the initiative back towards PIA in an ongoing 54-run stand with wicketkeeper Anop Santosh. At stumps, PIA were 111 for 5, still 67 adrift.
Sialkot dominated the first day of their game against Karachi Blues at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot. Seamers Mohammad Imran and Prince Abbas ran through the Karachi batting, bowling them out for 166 in just 43.5 overs. The pair shared nine wickets, Imran bagged a five-for, as the failure of the Karachi batsmen to put up a fight left them at 83 for 7. Mohammad Sami dealt some big blows batting at No.9, smashing 48 off 36 balls to take his team to 166. Sialkot replied confidently, opener Mohammad Yasin making an unbeaten 58 to take his team to 98 without loss.