Ali Imran's six-for leaves HBL reeling
Sixteen wickets fell on the opening day at the Lahore City Cricket Association as Pakistan International Airlines shot out Habib Bank Limited for 128, only to suffer similar batting woes of their own. Ali Imran, the right-arm seamer, ran through the HBL line-up with 6 for 45. It could have been worse for HBL as they were floundering at one stage at 51 for 8. Fahad Masood retaliated with 44 off 63 balls, and Danish Kaneria scored 20 to take the score past 100. PIA got off to a shaky start, at 14 for 2 but recovered thanks to Kamran Sajid and Faisal Iqbal. However, they slid from 86 for 2 to 103 for 6. Sarmad Anwar rattled the middle order with three wickets. Sarfraz Ahmed remained unbeaten on 28 to give his team the first-innings lead.
Ahmed Iqbal's unbeaten 73 was the highlight of the day at the National Stadium in Karachi as Karachi Blues ended on 251 for 7 against Islamabad. Mohammad Bilal scored 42 at No.3 before Karachi were in a spot of bother at 107 for 5. The lower middle-order chipped in with 30s to support Iqbal to lift the score past 200. Sohail Khan and Iqbal remained unbeaten. The wickets were spread out amongst the bowlers.
Half-centuries by Fawad Alam and Qaiser Abbas helped rescue National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) from a precarious 17 for 3 to a more respectable 274 for 7 against Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) at the Gaddafi Stadium. Imran Khan, the right-arm seamer, made early inroads to give WAPDA the early advantage. Fawad resisted with a brisk 65 off 79 balls with ten fours. Qaiser received support from the lower order as he scored a more patient 84, off 143 balls. He remained unbeaten with Wahab Riaz, who was on 28. Imran ended the day with 4 for 82.
Haris Sohail's century helped rescue Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) from an early wobble against State Bank of Pakistan in Islamabad. The left-arm spinner Mohammad Ali struck early to leave ZTBL at 42 for 4. Haris got together with Sohail Tanvir to add 108 for the sixth wicket. Tanvir made 68, hitting eight fours and a six while Haris made 106 off 189 balls with 16 fours. Both fell to the left-arm seamer Nazar Hussain late in the day. ZTBL ended the day at 256 for 7.
A four-wicket haul by Ahmed Jamal helped Abbottabad bowl out Rawalpindi for 215 at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Abbottabad lost two wickets but ended the day at a relatively safe 73. Jamal took three top-order wickets and that left Rawalpindi in a bit of trouble at 64 for 5. The recovery came via Jamal Anwar and Akhlaq Ahmed, who scored 43 each. Jamal finished off the innings to finish with 4 for 57. Abbottabad lost Rameez Ahmed early before Hammad Ali and Mir Azam ensured their team held the advantage going into the second day.
Mohammad Ayub's 118 and fifties by Mohammad Yasin and Mansoor Amjad ensured that Sialkot ended the opening day on a strong 329 for 5 against Faisalabad at Jinnah Stadium. The opener Yasin made 53 to ensure that Sialkot got off to a steady start. Ayub and Amjad got together for a stand of 117 for the fourth wicket. Amjab made 72 off 102 balls while Ayub made 118 off 156 balls with 17 fours. Shehzad Malik and Rizwan Sultan were unbeaten at stumps.