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November 24, 2011
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited drew first blood in their top-of-the-table clash, bowling out Water and Power Development Authority for 192 at the National Ground in Islamabad. WAPDA were put in and made a steady start, reaching 75 for 1 thanks to opener Asif Khan's 59. A collapse of seven wickets for 63 runs followed and they were 138 for 8. No. 10 Sarfraz Ahmed counterattacked, scoring 40 off 35 balls to take WAPDA near the 200-run mark. ZTBL's bowlers shared the wickets around, with seamers Junaid Nadir and Rehan Riaz picking up three each. ZTBL lost a wicket early in their innings and finished on 22 for 1.
Six wickets from fast bowler Sajid Shah helped Habib Bank Limited bowl State Bank of Pakistan out for 204 on the first day at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad. Sajid rocked State Bank's top order, leaving them 34 for 4 before Adnan Raees and Rameez Aziz began a recovery. Raees scored 34 and Aziz 44 but Sajid came back to remove Aziz and a couple of strikes from legspinner Danish Kaneria left State Bank 135 for 7. Rizwan Haider scored 62 at No. 8 to take State Bank's total beyond 200. He was Sajid's sixth victim, while Kaneria bagged another wicket too, to finish with three. HBL lost a wicket early in their response and finished the day 13 for 1.
Seamer Kamran Sajid's four wickets helped Pakistan International Airlines reduce National Bank of Pakistan to 216 for 9 at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot. Lots of National Bank's batsmen got starts but none could carry on and make a big score. Fawad Alam's 49 was the top score while the biggest partnership was 59, for the second wicket. The wickets fell at regular intervals, with seamers picking up all nine to fall on the day. Kamran Sajid bowled 16 overs through the day and took 4 for 47.
A combined effort from Abbottabad's seamers and spinners restricted Islamabad but a 101-run seventh-wicket partnership helped Islamabad reach 254 for 7 on the first day at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium. Islamabad lost wickets regularly early on, and despite Zeeshan Mushtaq's 37 slipped to 145 for 6. Abbottabad, who had chosen to field, may have been hoping to bowl their opponents out within the day, but Zohaib Ahmed, the Islamabad captain, and Faizan Riaz shared an important stand. Riaz was dismissed for 46 before the close of play but Zohaib remained not out on 52 and will try to extend his team's total on the second day.
Karachi Blues squandered a solid start and ended on 265 for 7 against Faisalabad at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. Karachi's openers Shahzaib Hasan and Asad Baig vindicated their captain's decision to bat by each getting half-centuries and sharing a 97-run partnership. Seamers Abdur Rauf and Naseer Akram managed to cause a mini-collapse in which five wickets fell for 51 runs, leaving Karachi 145 for 8. The lower-middle order did not crumble, though, and contributions from Nos 7, 8 and 9 ensured Karachi crossed the 250-run mark. Naseer finished the day with figures of 3 for 58.
A strong performance from Rawalpindi's middle order helped them get to 326 for 5 against Sialkot at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Rawalpindi were put in and were reduced to 89 for 3 before No. 4 Awais Zia became the first of three half-centurions on the day. Zia was dismissed for 51 before Usman Saeed and Babar Naeem got half-centuries and put together 85 runs for the fifth wicket. Naeem then stitched together an unbeaten 90-run stand with Zahid Mansoor to take Rawalpindi to a dominant position. Naeem ended the day on 80 not out while Mansoor was unbeaten on 44. Rawalpindi scored their runs at 4.55 runs an over, allowing them to go past 300 even though only 71.3 overs were bowled in the day.
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