Anjum's six-for gives ZTBL victory
Iftikhar Anjum picked up six wickets to lead Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited to an innings-and-28-run win over State Bank of Pakistan at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad. Opener Mohtashim Ali was the only batsman to offer any resistance, battling his way to 51 as wickets tumbled around him. The next highest score was 18, as Anjum struck regularly to deny SBP any momentum. He ended proceedings by bowling No.11 Saad Altaf first ball to finish with figures of 6 for 37 as SBP folded for 123 in their second innings. The victory takes ZTBL to joint-first in the points table with 57, tied with Pakistan International Airlines.
A confident half-century from Nadeem Akhtar led Abbottabad to a six-wicket victory over Rawalpindi at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. The day began brightly for Rawalpindi, as the overnight pair of Jamal Anwar and Yasim Murtaza took their side past 200 with some aggressive batting, both scoring half-centuries at quicker than a run-a-ball. Their dismissals, within a run of each other, sucked the belief out of Rawalpindi and the last five wickets fell for just 45 runs. Ikramullah Khan made the vital breakthroughs, snapping up Anwar for 51 and then Murtaza for 57. Abbottabad made a horror start to their chase, losing three of their top four batsmen for just 15, but Akhtar and Wajad Ali counterattacked. By the time Ali fell lbw for 48, his side were in sight of victory and Akhtar took his side home. They needed just 22.5 overs to make 158, with Akhtar unbeaten on 83 from just 66 balls, having struck 12 fours and two sixes.
Hasan Raza and Fahad Masood combined to lead Habib Bank to a surprise victory over table-toppers Pakistan International Airlines by 243 runs at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Captain Hasan Raza's unbeaten 141 lifted HBL to 361 in their second-innings, leaving PIA to chase 306 for victory. They never got close as Masood ripped through their top order to leave them gasping at 39 for 6. The final four wickets offered little resistance as PIA disintegrated for 62 and crashed to their first loss of the season. Masood finished with 6 for 28 from 11 overs.
Faisalabad's bowlers fought back on the third day at the Jinnah Stadium but the massive first-innings deficit meant they still ended the day with 380 runs required to beat Sialkot and eight wickets in hand. Sialkot made a strange decision not to enforce the follow-on, despite securing a 279-run first innings lead and the fact that their bowlers had just bowled 6.5 overs in the morning. They batted for 45.3 overs instead and Faisalabad restricted them to 147 for 7 on which score they declared. Mohammad Ayub was aggressive and scored 84 off 116 balls but medium-pacer Naseer Akram and left-arm spinner Shoaib Shah struck regularly, and ensured the run-rate was just 3.23. The big first-innings lead, though, meant Faisalabad were left chasing a huge total, and they lost their openers to medium-pacer Mohammad Imran in the 13 overs they had to bat at the end of the day.
Contributions from Mohammad Kashif and Mohammad Ijaz, and regular strikes from the bowlers helped Islamabad extend their advantage over Karachi Blues at the National Stadium. Karachi finished the day still five runs behind with six wickets in hand in their second innings. Kashif and Ijaz took Islamabad's score from 301 for 6 overnight to 398. Kashif scored 51 off 92 balls while Ijaz took 121 balls to score 45. Azam Hussain dismissed Ijaz and completed a five-wicket haul. Karachi's second innings was hampered by wickets falling at regular intervals. Asad Baig scored 50 but none of the other batsmen could kick on from starts and Karachi ended the day on 129 for 4.
Khurram Manzoor made his third hundred of the season as National Bank of Pakistan extended their advantage over Water and Power Development Authority to 303 runs with four wickets in hand at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. WAPDA started the day in a strong position at 186 for 3, but lost two early wickets to slip to 196 for 5. A sixth-wicket partnership of 51 between Ali Azmat (34) and Bilal Khilji (22) temporarily right the ship, before the last five wickets tumbled for 25 runs, giving NBP a first-innings lead of 88. After Umar Amin retired hurt without facing a ball, Manzoor took control, lashing a dozen fours as he raced to 101 from 119 balls before being bowled by Ali Azmat. NBP ended the day on 215 for 6 with one day to go.