Amin revives himself
Umar Amin's 270-ball 145 helped Sui Southern Gas Corporation build a solid first-innings total of 323, thereby leading his team to victory by an innings and three runs against Faisalabad. The 344-minute knock was Amin's second hundred of the season. Over the past few seasons, he had been out of selection contention due to injuries but his name has come up again after the retirements of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan. He is currently considered one of the top choices to replace the two recently-retired players, and while he has already made his mark in the shorter format, Amin looks to revive his lost form in the longer format as well.
Test openers continue dry run
Shan Masood and Sami Aslam - after having a disappointing Test series against Sri Lanka - returned to the domestic circuit after the series ended. But their poor run of form continued at home too. Although Sui Southern Gas Corporation won, Aslam contributed only 16 with the bat.
And while Masood's captaincy led United Bank Limited to a seven-wicket win against Rawalpandi, the opener scored only 15 and 21. The duo has been struggling to get big runs, and their dry spell has opened up a slot in Pakistan's top order - allowing for more experimentation - ahead of Pakistan's next red-ball action against Ireland in May 2018, before the tour of England.
LCCA pitch comes under spotlight
As many as 17 wickets fell on day one at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground as Lahore Blues were bundled for 108 in the first innings before SNGPL, led by Misbah, lost their seven wickets before stumps. Blues fought back in the second innings to put up 215 but that set SNGPL a target of only 125 which they chased down by losing no more than five wickets. The pitches being prepared during the tournament received criticism from Misbah who expressed his "disappointment" saying the tracks were being overused.
Fawad Alam's season of ups-and-downs continued after he scored only seven runs and returned bowling figures of 0 for 19 against Faisalabad in the fourth round. After being overlooked by the selectors in the past, which raised eyebrows across the board, the spotlight was on him to shine but he couldn't do so.
Fawad's form this season has been much worse than the last few seasons, but despite the lack of runs, his first-class average still reads 56.11, having scored over 10,000 runs in his career. Fawad did, however, score a match-winning 105 against Lahore Blues in the third round.