United Bank's bowlers shine with all-round show
United Bank Limited's bowlers came good with bat and ball to put their team in charge against Multan at the Multan Cricket Stadium. Kashif Bhatti and Rumman Rees, the Nos. 10 and 11, put on a century stand for the final wicket to steer United Bank to 387. Both players registered their highest first-class scores, before Bhatti was snagged nine short of a hundred. Rees remained unbeaten on 42. United Bank's new-ball pairing of Tahir Mughal and Mohammad Irshad then went on to destroy the Multan top order. The hosts were tottering at 21 for 5 and then 129 for 9, before another solid last-wicket stand - driven by No. 9 Tahir Maqsood's 79 - took them to 205. Mughal and Irshad finished with four apiece as the follow on was enforced. Multan went to stumps at 1 for 0, one over into their second innings.
Peshawar cleaned up Hyderabad's remaining batsmen relatively quickly on the second morning, keeping them to 286 at the Niaz Stadium in Sind. Hyderabad had resumed on 217 for 5 and lost the remaining wickets for 69 runs in about 14 overs on the second morning. Afaq Ahmed was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 4 for 54. In reply, Peshawar was in some trouble at 43 for 3, but an unbroken century stand between Israrullah and captain Akbar Badshah rescued them. They went to stumps at a steady 170 for 3.
Strong performances from Zulfiqar Jan and Yasir Ali put Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) in charge of their game against Quetta at the Khan Research Laboratory Ground in Rawalpindi. Jan, the captain and wicketkeeper, registered his highest first-class score - 120 not out - to take his side to an imposing 405. Jan's century came with him batting at No. 8, and steered KRL into a position of strength from an overnight score of 261 for 7. Quetta's opening bowler, Arun Lal, took six wickets but did not have much support. Yasir Arafat, Rahat Ali and Yasir Ali then proceeded to rout Quetta for 90, with Yasir Ali claiming his fifth first-class five-for. Following-on, Quetta went to stumps on 18 for no loss.
Lahore Ravi's overnight batsmen, Usman Salahuddin and Mohammad Saad, went on to complete a century and fifty against Karachi Whites at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. There was no much resistance offered by the lower middle order once the pair was removed though, and Lahore Ravi finished with 280 after resuming on 193 for 4. Tabish Khan claimed four wickets, including that of Saad, bowled for 51. Captain Salahuddin made 120. Karachi Whites' top order batsmen got starts, but none could push on as their side finished on a shaky 138 for 4.
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), on the back of a patient half-century by opener Naeemuddin, took a 108-run first-innings' lead against Lahore Shalimar at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Apart from Naeemuddin - who top scored with 81 - only captian Azhar Shafiq managed to go past fifty, but double digit scores from several batsmen were enough to push SNGPL comfortably past the hosts' score of 170. Asif Raza did most of the damage with the ball, especially troubling the middle order to finish with 6 for 60. SNGPL's new-ball bowlers, Asad Ali and Imran Ali, then knocked over three quick wickets to reduce Lahore Shalimar to 40 for 3 and give their side the clear edge going into the third day.