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December 11, 2011
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Habib Bank Limited (HBL) played out a dramatic tie at the Gaddafi Stadium. Chasing 191, WAPDA looked to have the match in hand at 113 for 1 but reckoned without Mohammad Aslam and Fahad Masood. Aslam, a left-arm spinner, removed Asif Khan for 51 to end a 113-run partnership with Ahmed Said (62) and three quick wickets followed to reduce the batting side to 129 for 5. With only 51 to get though, WAPDA were still the favourites but the bowlers kept pegging away. A sixth wicket fell on 146 and two more on 176 and 177, with Aslam and Mahood taking five of the seven wickets that had fallen till then. Suddenly, it was anyone's game.
With two wickets in hand, WAPDA battled back, taking their team to 190 and levelling the scores. But just when it looked like they would seal a thrilling win, Ayaz Tasawwar was caught off Masood for 10. Last man Zeeshan Nadir played out five balls but the fightback was completed when Aslam bowled No.10 Imran Khan for a 14-ball duck with the first ball of his 28th over. When the dust settled, WAPDA had lost their last nine wickets for 77 runs. Aslam ended up with figures of 4 for 85 while Masood took 3 for 34.
Anwar Ali gave table-toppers Pakistan International Airlines a stunning victory as State Bank of Pakistan crumbled for 40 in their second-innings to lose by 189 runs in Islamabad. Set 240 to win, SBP had no answer for Anwar, who ripped out the top five batsmen for just 35. The wickets tumbled even faster after that, with Anwar grabbing three more as PIA wrapped up a win that looked unlikely when they led by just 12 with only five wickets in hand on the third day. Anwar finished with 8 for 16 from 10 remarkable overs, giving him match figures of 13 for 85, both career bests.
Karachi Blues needed just 11.1 overs to complete a comfortable 305-run win over Rawalpindi at the National Stadium in Karachi. Having begun the day on 87 for 5, Rawalpindi's middle and lower order showed little interest in delaying the inevitable, choosing to try to attack the bowling instead, and perished in quick time. Offspinner Atif Maqbool was the best of the bowlers, with 3 for 30.
In Lahore, Fawad Alam's assured innings gave National Bank of Pakistan a five-wicket win over Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited. NBP stuttered briefly when they lost two early wickets on the final day, before Alam and Aqeel Anjum (21) added 60 for the fourth wicket. Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal fell for a duck but No.7 Qaiser Abbas was in no mood to hang around. He smashed seven fours as he raced to 31 from 14 balls to overhaul the target of 199. Alam was unbeaten on 47 from 56 balls.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena
The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test