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November 11, 2013
Lahore Shalimar won the toss and chose to bowl, and were handed an immediate advantage when Mohammad Bilawal took seven wickets to dismiss Multan for 69.
In spite of a shaky start, Lahore Shalimar grabbed a substantial first-innings lead, posting 282, built around Mohammad Saeed's maiden first-class hundred. The No. 9 batsman scored 113 off 114 balls with 16 fours and four sixes. Offspinner Haziq Habibullah was the pick of the Multan bowlers, returning first-innings figures of 4 for 81.
Faced with a 213-run deficit, and with a risk of an innings defeat at 117 for 4, Multan staged a recovery led by Ahmed Rasheed. Rasheed's 170-ball 89 had 11 fours and contributions from Abdul Rehman Muzammil (47) and openers Usman Liaqat and Ahad Raza helped Multan clear the deficit. However, Mohammad Saeed struck with a four-wicket haul to skittle Multan out for 288 as the batting side lost its last six wickets for 38.
The Lahore openers put on a 55-run stand in pursuit of the 76-run target and the side needed just 18 overs to complete an eight-wicket win. Mohammad Bilawal finished with match figures of 10 for 111, his maiden first-class ten-wicket haul, while Saeed added to his first-innings tally to finish with a seven-wicket match haul.
A high-scoring match between Islamabad and Hyderabad petered out in a draw in Islamabad.
Put in to bat first, Islamabad scored 303, helped by contributions from all batsmen, including a fifty from Moed Ahmed. Fast bowler Farhan Ayub picked up six wickets for 106, but regular partnerships between the Islamabad batsmen ensured they reached a solid score.
In reply, Hyderabad, powered by fifties from openers Zeeshan Gul and Darya Khan eked out a slender 17-run lead. The openers added 113 for the opening stand to notch up important innings where other Hyderabad batsmen failed to convert their starts. Gul fell for 50, while Darya Khan missed his maiden first-class hundred by five runs. Hyderabad's bowlers then gave their side a solid shot at victory, reducing Islamabad to 56 for 5 in the second innings, before a lower-order rally saw Islamabad climb to 200.
Set a target of 184 runs, and running out of time, Hyderabad stuttered to 41 for 5 in 21 overs by close of play. Shehzad Azam, the Islamabad fast bowler, picked up 4 for 29 in 11 overs.
Mohammad Ali (133) enjoyed a memorable debut as he rescued the home side from 38 for 2. Ali, whose innings included 19 fours and lasted just a shade under six hours, and 18-year-old Kamran Ghulam (157) carried Abbottabad to a daunting 513 for 7, before the declaration . Ghulam, though was the more aggressive of the two centurions, as his 23 fours helped him maintain a strike rate over 80. Another debutant, Baber Khan, came in at No. 9 and struck 54 off 55 balls. Hasan Ali, 19, was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 133.
In reply, opener Majid Jahangir (107) and Naved Sarwar (80) stabilised Sialkot after quick wickets. A brief collapse in the middle order hurt Sialkot's momentum but No. 8 Nabeel Malik arrested the slide - three wickets for 36 runs - with his second first-class fifty. The rest of the tail, however, could not muster similar resolve and Sialkot lost their last four wickets for 13 runs to finish at 360.
Abbottabad's second innings lasted for nine overs in which the openers hit 64 runs before the match was drawn.
It was a case of first-innings blues as Rawalpindi met Peshawar in the Quaid-e-Azam tournament at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Both teams put in strong performances in their second innings, with Isarullah scoring the only century of the match, as it ended in a draw.
Seamer Azam Khan snared four of the top-five Rawalpindi batsmen, including opener Shoaib Nasir, whose 38 remained the highest score of the innings. Azam's new-ball partner Afaq Ahmed chipped in with three wickets as Rawalpindi benefited from lower-order contributions - the last four wickets added 117 runs - to reach 180.
Peshawar's steady start was interrupted when Ashfaq Ahmed was forced to retire with the score on 42. Iftikhar Ahmed's 92 was the saving grace after the top-order could not consolidate on their starts. Striking 15 fours in his 107-ball innings, his counterattack helped Peshawar claim a 63-run lead, which proved vital in their claiming three points off this match.
Rawalpindi's solid start was dented when their first two wickets fell within four runs. The score was 99 for 2 and by the time they had added five more runs, another wicket had fallen. Regular wickets became the order of the day until Zahid Mansoor (91) and wicketkeeper Talha Qureshi (45*) steadied the innings, taking Rawalpindi from 186 for 6 to 278 before the partnership was broken. Qureshi remained unbeaten until the end of the innings, taking his side to 384.
Azizullah, the 21-year-old fast bowler, toiled away for 42.4 overs and reaped good rewards as he claimed his maiden five-for in first-class cricket.
Chasing a target of 322 runs, Isarullah's ton helped Peshawar set a good pace as they made 181 for 2 in 51 overs, but in the end the honours were shared.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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