Abdur Rehman, Habib Bank's left-arm spinner, achieved his first-class career-best figures of 8 for 53, as Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) crashed to a poor first-innings score of 149 all out, on the second day of their four-day, Group A, third-round Patron's Trophy Cricket Championship match at the United Bank Limited (UBL) Sports Complex Ground No.1 in Karachi.

The 25-year-old Rehman from Sialkot thus followed his match haul of 11 wickets (5 for 120 and 6 for 28), in Habib Bank's nine-wicket win over Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) here at the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Sports Complex in the previous round, with another bowling effort right out of the top drawer.

Sui Northern Gas's small score meant that they fell short of Habib Bank's total of 274 by 125 runs. By the close of play yesterday, Habib Bank had enhanced their advantage to 156 with a second-innings score of 31 for the loss of Imran Farhat. After having resumed at their overnight 260 for 8, Habib Bank ended at 274 all out. At the time it looked to be a modest effort. Sui Northern Gas's debacle has put them within striking distance of another win. The only innings of some substance in the SNGPL knock were by Sohail Idrees, the opener who scored 48 off 143 balls with seven fours, and by Arsalan Mir at No.7 as he made 36 off 62 balls with six boundaries.

Habib Bank have been a record seven-time winners of the Patron's Trophy Championship title. SNGPL started this season's tournament with a creditable draw against Pakistan Customs in the second round.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) retaliated strongly in their second outing after having surrendered a first innings lead of 120 runs against Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), on the second day of their four-day, Group A, third-round Patron's Trophy Cricket Championship match at the National Stadium in Karachi on Friday.

By the close of play yesterday, PIA had scored 143 for 1 the second time round, that's put them just ahead of the KRL by 23 runs with nine wickets in hand. KRL had resumed on Friday already with an advantage of 21 runs over PIA, after having bowled the latter out for a poor 123 in their first innings. However, they lost their next five wickets with the addition of only 52 further runs to be 196 for 9. Fazl-e-Akbar, Pakistan discard fast bowler, who finished with 5 for 63, helped PIA topple the KRL late middle-order. When the ninth wicket fell, the KRL lead was only 73 runs. Then came the last-wicket partnership of 47 runs that took their total to 243.

Abdul Rauf, the fast-medium bowler, followed his five-wicket haul in the PIA first innings with an unbeaten 41 that came off a mere 49 balls with seven boundaries. Saeed Ajmal, the offspinner, helped him in the 44-minute stand with 22 runs, off 28 deliveries with three fours and a six. Apart from Fazl-e-Akbar, Najaf Shah, the left-arm fast bowler, bagged 3 for 52. Kamran Sajid, the right-arm medium-pacer, took 2 for 7 in seven overs. PIA lost opener Agha Sabir with 43 runs scored and the batsman having contributed 20. This was followed by the unbroken second-wicket stand that's produced an exact 100 runs. Kamran Sajid, the left-hand batsman had made 58 not out off 167 balls in a little over three and three-quarter hours with eight fours while Yasir Hameed, who scored 57 runs in the fifth one-day international against England at Rawalpindi on Wednesday, was also still at the crease with an unbeaten 61 to his name, off 90 balls with eight boundaries.

PIA, who shared the Patron's Trophy title last season with Habib Bank as the final was rained off, have never won the Patron's Trophy outright since it was introduced back in 1972-73. KRL are currently lying at rock bottom in the five-team Group A points table. They started the tournament by being beaten in both their matches in the first two rounds.

After the opening day's play on Thursday was cancelled due to foggy conditions and poor light, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) reached a modest score of 123 for six in the 34 overs possible, on the second day of the their four-day, Group B, third-round Patron's Trophy Cricket Championship match against Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) at the Sheikhupura Stadium on Friday.

The situation was still not conducive to a full day's play and National Bank, after having been put in, lost four of their six wickets to Riaz Afridi, the young, talented fast bowler, who finished the day with figures of 4-51 in 17 overs. His partner Tahir Mughal picked up the other two wickets at a personal cost of 56 runs in 14 overs.The top-scorer for NBP was Imran Nazir, the opener and the Pakistan reject, with a characteristic 42 off only 39 balls with seven boundaries. Later in the order, Naved Latif hit a run-a-ball 30, that also included seven fours.

PTCL are currently perched on top of the points table with a tally of 15 in Group B. National Bank, five-time winners of the competition, are at the second spot.

Adil Nisar, the captain, hit an exciting unbeaten 145 for Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), as their four-day, Group B, third-round Patron's Trophy Cricket Championship match against Service Industries began on its second day at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad on Friday.

The first day's play, as in the other Group B match in Sheikhupura, had to be cancelled due to foggy conditions and poor light. After Masood Asim, Service Industries's captain, won the toss yesterday morning, he asked WAPDA to take first strike. In the 76.3 overs bowled during the day's play, WAPDA notched up an impressive score of 268 runs for the loss of only two wickets. Adil, the The 27-year-old left-hand batsman, attained the ninth century of his first-class career, while sending the ball to the ropes 21 times. His opening stand with Asif Hussain (26) was worth 71 runs while the second wicket partnership with Tariq Aziz (25) produced another 55. Aamer Sajjad joined his captain in the unbroken 142 runs partnership for the third wicket. Aamer hit five fours and a six in his unbeaten 61. WAPDA were the runners-up of the 2003-04 competition while Service Industries are currently placed at the bottom of the five-team Group B table. Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) have picked up this trophy four times. They are taking a rest from the third round matches. Service Industries are playing in this season's Patron's Trophy tournament, after having gained promotion following their win in last season's Patron's Trophy Grade-II Championship final.