WAPDA bowlers fashion big win
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) completed a crushing ten-wicket win against State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) at the Marghzar Cricket Ground in Islamabad, to temporarily move to the top of the points table. After folding for 94 in their first innings, SBP had begun their second 160 behind. On day three, they were bundled out for exactly 160, leaving WAPDA one to get. The WAPDA bowlers put in a team performance, sharing the wickets around - the pick of the lot was Zulfiqar Babar who finished with the astonishing figures of 5 for 4 in three overs. It then took WAPDA opener Imran Khan one ball to knock off the runs - he hit a four to seal the victory.
Khalid Usman and Ikramullah Khan combined to rip through Karachi Blues and secure a 188-run win for their team, Abbottabad, at the National Stadium in Karachi. Abbottabad made 210 in their second innings, setting Karachi Blues a victory target of 285. The hosts batting line-up then fell apart - four of their middle order batsmen were dismissed for ducks, as new-ball Ikramullah took his match tally to 12, with four second-innings wickets. His career-best effort was well supported by left-arm spinner Usman, who picked up a five-for as Karachi Blues succumbed for 96.
A five-for from medium pacer Rashid Latif helped Rawalpindi to a 92-run win against Faisalabad at the Sports Stadium in Sargodha. Faisalabad needed to chase down 274 over two days, but none of their batsmen could build on the starts that they got. Six of their top seven got into double digits, but no one could push on to make more than Asif Ali's 50 - the only half-century of the innings. Latif was supported by new-ball bowler Mohammad Rameez, who picked up 3 for 38 as Faisalabad were bowled out for 181.
Islamabad's batsmen launched a spirited chase, in pursuit of 310, to set up an interesting final day against Sialkot at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad. Earlier in the day, Sialkot went from an overnight 95 for 2 to 194 all out. Zohaib Ahmed caused most of the damage, taking his third first-class five-for. Islamabad's openers then put on a 90-run stand before Umair Khan was trapped lbw for 48. Faizan Riaz fell not long after, but the other opener Afaq Raheem was solid till stumps. He finished 69 not out, in an unbroken 41-run stand with Zeeshan Mushtaq. That leaves Islamabad 130 to get, with eight wickets in hand, on the final day.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) will have a tough challenge ahead of them on the final day of their match against Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. After the completion of the first innings, ZBTL were in the deficit by 212 runs - they have put on 116 for 3 in their second innings, meaning they still trail by 96 with seven wickets in hand. In the morning, PIA got to 390 in their first innings, after being 250 for 2 overnight, driven by centuries from Kamran Sajid and Faisal Iqbal.
Habib Bank Limited (HBL) took a 62-run first-innings lead against National Bank of Pakistan, in a game at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad that looked set to finish in a draw. HBL pushed on from their overnight score of 259 for 6 to 305, as Bilal Shafayat top scored with 88. Wahab Riaz and Raza Hasan were the pick of the NBP bowlers, claiming four wickets apiece. NBP were then reasonably solid in their second innings, wiping out the deficit and getting to 181 for 3 by stumps. Their top order played around opener Nasir Jamshed, who made a fluent 70 before being trapped lbw.