Shakeel and Younis boost NWFP

North West Frontier Province 203 and 146 for 3 (Younis 68*) lead Sind 149 (Shakeel-ur-Rehman 6-28) by 200 runs

Career-best figures from medium-pacer Shakeel-ur-Rehman helped North West Frontier Province dismiss Sind for 149 and an unbeaten 68 from captain Younis Khan took the lead to 200 by stumps on day two in Karachi. Sind had resumed on 60 for 1 but Shakeel dealt quick blows to secure his side a 54-run lead.
His first victim was opener Khalid Latif, caught behind for 17 from 75 balls to make it 79 for 2. Faisal Iqbal, the Pakistan international, was out for 1 and the dangerous Shahid Afridi was removed for an 18-ball 17. Naumanullah was then bowled for 47, the best contribution of the innings, and two swift strikes cut through the tail. Pind had proceeded to lose nine wickets for 89 runs.

Rafatullah Mohmand and Yasir Hameed got NWFP's second innings off to a solid start, adding 41, but a double-strike from Anwar Ali threatened to bring Sind back. Hameed hit 26 from 30 balls before he was trapped leg before by Anwar, a former Under-19 star. Riaz Kail suffered a similar fate for 4 as NWFP slipped to 51 for 2. That became 71 for 3 when Mohmand fell to Uzair-ul-Haq's medium-pace, but Younis proved difficult to dislodge.

Coming off two fifties against Zimbabwe and a one-match breather in the clean sweep, Younis rattled his way to an unbeaten 68 off 95 balls, with 13 boundaries, by the close of play. Offering solid support at the other end was Wajahatullah Wasti, the former Pakistan opener, with a sedate 14 from 81 balls. NWFP's tail wagged in the first innings and further such contributions could be enough to seal Sind's fate as this match progresses.

Punjab 219 for 1 (Butt 135*, Hafeez 77) trail Federal Areas 383 (Saaed 69, Ashraf 58, Rehman 4-86, Riaz 4-112) by 164 runs
Salman Butt's unbeaten 143-ball 135, in an opening stand of 191 with Mohammad Hafeez, gave Punjab a superb start to their first innings on day two in Lahore. Butt shrugged off an ordinary series against Zimbabwe by taking the Federal Areas attack to task - Punjab scored 219 for 1 at 4.56 runs an over - after Abdur Rehman and Wahab Riaz combined to reduce the opposition from an overnight 301 for 4 to an eventual 383.

Butt struck 24 fours and a six , or 75% of his score, to launch a stirring reply. With Hafeez, another opener with international experience, he defied a line-up that included Shoaib Akhtar, Sohail Tanvir and Yasir Arafat. Hafeez was a bit more relaxed in his approach, scoring 77 from 113 balls, but with his partner going all-out it suited the situation expertly. Butt ticked along at a strike rate of 94.40, doing plenty to keep this match from meandering to a draw. Punjab still trail by 164 but with the likes of Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf and Kamran Akmal to follow Federal Areas may be in for a tough third day in the field.

Earlier, Rehman, who has played two Tests and 11 ODIs, snared 4 for 86 with his left-arm spin to support opening bowler Riaz. Usman Saeed and Naved Ashraf were cut short after crossing fifty and there was little action from Federal Areas' lower order. Riaz, who had handed a maiden ODI cap against Zimbabwe last month, took 4 for 112 to help Punjab maintain damage control. Then it was over to Butt.