FATA claim their first win
FATA finally got a torrid campaign off the mark with their first win, for which they had to wait six matches. The 31 year-old opener Mohammad Naeem set his side up in both innings, scoring 70 and 65 as FATA scored 275 and 234 to set Karachi Whites a daunting (on these pitches, anyway) target of 249.
Much depended on one-time Pakistan international Faisal Iqbal, who had dragged his team to 261 in the first innings with an unbeaten 100. But he fell for a golden duck, a victim of fast bowler Sajjad Hussain, who took 6 for 75 and toppled Karachi Whites for 141. It might be too late for FATA to mount a resurgence, but there's never a bad time to notch up a win.
The innings that lasted one ball
We've all heard of short fourth innings, and to have one at the Quaid-e-Azam trophy, where the pitches have been called into question by none other than Misbah-ul-Haq wasn't a surprise. But a one-ball innings?
It all began with Lahore Blues taking a first-innings lead of 188, thanks to their in-form captain Saad Nasim, who has put in several stunning all-round performances this season. He scored 121 - his second hundred of the campaign. Then his side dismissed Faisalabad for 188, meaning at the end of three innings, the scores were level.
That meant the Blues batsmen needed to come out for a target of 1. It was as pure a formality as could be imagined on a cricket field, and Waqas Saleem treated it as such, smashing the first ball for four to wrap up a ten-wicket win.
SSGC lose ground to SNGCP
Fawad Alam-captained Sui Southern Gas Corporation (SSGC) were on top of Pool A, one point ahead of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGCP) at the start of the round. But while SNGCP completed a 206-run win over National Bank of Pakistan, SSGC could only manage a draw against Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). The contest boasted several high-profile names, including Wahab Riaz, Salman Butt, Zulfiqar Babar, Mohammad Asif, and Kamran Akmal, but produced the only stalemate of the round.
SSGC batted first and scored 270, with Asif taking four wickets. They managed a lead of 56 with 26-year old seamer Azhar Attari taking five wickets. In the second innings, SSGC were 330 for 8 - Sami Aslam (84) and Awais Zia (92) the chief contributors - when the game came to its end. The result means SNGCP lead pool A, five points clear of SSGC.
The left-hander struck his third fifty-plus score of the season season, but following his 63 in the first innings he was caught for 20 while the rest of his team-mates had fun pushing the total to 330. Considering the Pakistan selectors' powers of indifference, he will have to do a lot more to catch their eye.