Faisalabad propelled by lower order

Faisalabad recovered from 168 for 7 to post 312 in their first innings, on the opening day of their Pentangular Cup match against Karachi Harbour, at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Monday. By stumps, they grabbed two Karachi wickets while the latter reached a score of 17, with Shahid Nazir taking both wickets.

Yesterday, with some effective bowling by the Karachi Harbour pace attack, Faisalabad lost four wickets for 65 runs after being put in to bat. Then came a fifth-wicket partnership of 72 between Misbah-ul-Haq and Ijaz Ahmed Jnr. Misbah's 53 came off 96 balls with 10 fours while Ijaz hit 38. Three wickets then fell with only 31 added but the eighth-wicket stand was worth 51 runs. Mohammad Salman, the wicketkeeper, dominated the scoring and reached 71 off 92 balls with 12 boundaries.

Asad Ali hit eight fours in a 74-ball 53, scoring his maiden half-century in first-class career. Samiullah Niazi kept him company with an unbeaten 17 in a last-wicket stand of 57. For Karachi, Faraz Ahmed Khan took four wickets for 104 runs before offspinner Atif Maqbool rattled the tail with 3 for 81 from 19.5 overs.

Playing their last match of the competition, Faisalabad have slipped to the second spot behind National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) after having been table leaders for a while. From their previous three matches, they collected 18 points but now don't appear to be in the running for bagging the eventual title.

If they beat Karachi Harbour here and gain the full nine points, even then NBP will continue to have a better chance to be crowned the Pentangular Cup champions. They have another match coming up from April 23 in the final round while Faisalabad would have exhausted their quota of four by then.

A fighting hundred by opener Ghulam Ali stood out for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) as they were bowled out for 242 at the end of the first dayof their Pentangular Cup match against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP). Ali's 124 constituted the bulk of the total, and was the last man to be dismissed, batting for 370 minutes, falling to Mohammad Sami. The next highest score was 24, by Jannisar Khan. PIA had to contend with an inspired spell of pace bowling by Wasim Khan, who impressed with figures of 5 for 67 off 28 overs. Sami continued his good form with the ball, picking up three wickets.