Fahad Masood helps HBL cruise to victory

HBL 125 and 339 beat WAPDA 72 and 214 (Masood 4-40) by 178 runs

Habib Bank collected the full nine points when they thrashed Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) by 178 runs at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex Stadium in Karachi.

Opening bowler Fahad Masood snapped up 4 for 40, Pakistan discard Azhar Mahmood claimed 3 for 76 and Shahid Afridi's replacement, medium-pacer Sajid Shah, grabbed 2 for 33 as WAPDA, needing an unrealistic 393 for victory, were dismissed for 214 in their second innings on the third day of the four-day match.

Bilal Khilji and nightwatchman Shabbir Ahmed offered stiff resistance by adding 58 for the fifth wicket. Bilal cracked seven boundaries in his 76-ball stay while Shabbir cracked six fours in his 69-minute knock.

Wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider and former Test legspinner Mushtaq Ahmed, who is leading the WAPDA side, frustrated HBL further by adding 29 for the last wicket. The WAPDA innings folded on the first ball after lunch when pacer Fahad Masood trapped Zulqarnain leg before for 31 which included five hits to the fence. Allrounder Shahid Afridi in fact engineered his team's victory by scoring 51 and 100 in the match and getting four wickets which earned him a recall to the Pakistan team.

ZTBL 212 (Raheem 93, Ajmal 5-61) and 124 for 2 (Bashir 53*) trail KRL 407 by 71 runs

Offspinner Saeed Ajmal, with figures of 5 for 61, helped Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) bowl Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) for a modest 212, on the third day of their Patron's Trophy Quadrangular Stage match in Karachi.

Trailing by 195, ZTBL were then forced to follow-on. In their second innings, they had reached 124 for 2, which meant that they still required another 71 runs to avert an innings defeat.

The 29-year-old Ajmal from Faisalabad capitalised on brilliant centuries by his team-mates Zulfiqar Jan and Saeed Anwar jnr, as KRL compiled a first innings total of 407. ZTBL opening batsman Afaq Rahim, a 21-year-old from Mirpur in Azad Kashmir, was the only player to put up any resistance against the KRL bowlers.

Having already posted four hundreds in his first-class career, Afaq missed another by just seven runs. His 93 came off 194 deliveries with 14 boundaries as he stayed at the crease for just over four-and-a-half hours.

From 161 for four, ZTBL lost their last six wickets for the addition of a mere 51 runs. Ajmal took three of these wickets while pace bowler Abdul Rauf and allrounder Yasir Arafat one apiece. ZTBL lost two wickets with only 32 runs scored as they followed on. Skipper Aamer Bashir and wicket-keeper Shakeel Ansar, promoted in the order, then took them to stumps without any further mishap, with an unbroken 92-run third-wicket stand.