Abbas, Samiullah help SNGPL restore parity
The two seamers struck at the fag end of the day to dismiss half-centurion Adnan Raees and Aamer Sajjad to leave the title clash tantalisingly poised
Water and Power Development Authority 171 for 5 (Raees 65, Abbas 2-26) trail Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited 259 (Iftikhar 73, Wahab 4-61, Maqsood 3-51) by 88 runs
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Sui Northern Gas Piplelines Limited (SNGPL) finished the second day just as evenly matched as they had been when they began it. Two late wickets off consecutive overs saw WAPDA surge back into contention, reducing SNGPL to 171 for 5 at stumps, after they had been bowled out for 259. It was two settled batsmen who were dismissed - Adnan Raees for 65 and Aamer Sajjad for 35 - at the fag end of the day as WAPDA's seamers hit back in their quest to defend their title.
WAPDA's bowlers had started the day well, dismissing overnight batsmen Yasir Shah and Iftikhar Ahmed within the first four overs. It was Mohammad Asif who provided the opening breakthrough, coaxing Yasir to spoon a catch to Mohammad Saad. The tailenders offered some resistance, but SNGPL were bowled out for 259 in 102 overs.
WAPDA's innings began with high drama, Samiullah Khan dismissing Salman Butt for a duck before umpires deemed it to be a no-ball. It seemed to have unsettled Butt, who played a scratchy innings. He was ultimately trapped lbw by the same bowler for 24 off 74 balls. SNGPL then made regular inroads, also removing Zahid Mansoor and Mohammad Saad - the second highest scorer in this tournament - cheaply.
Mohammad Abbas was the pick of the bowlers, hitting his lines with trademark accuracy and nipping the ball both ways. His figures of 14-4-26-2 were just rewards for his efforts.
WAPDA managed to dig their way out of the hole they were in at 88 for 3 with a gritty 74-run partnership between Raees and Sajjad, who negotiated much of the latter half of the day with excellent technique and patience. The bad balls were put away, but they rarely went for shots that weren't on, fully focussed on seeing out the rest of the day.
SNGPL, however, struck with five overs left, and struck lethally. Both batsmen were removed within five balls of each other as a day that WAPDA could have otherwise claimed swung back to parity.
Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000