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Attock Group were facing a massive defeat Habib Bank Limited (HBL) on the third day of their fourth-round Patron's Trophy Cricket Championship match at the United Bank Limited (UBL) Sports Complex on Saturday. Responding to HBL's massive first-innings total of 510, Attock Group crashed to 148 all out. Shahid Afridi, the HBL captain, took three wickets, medium-pacer Fahad Masood took two after Azhar Mahmood had taken the first three on the second day.
Pervez Aziz top scored for Attock Group with 32 and hit four fours. Instead of enforcing the follow on, Afridi decided to bat a second time and HBL declared at 103 for 3 after 30 overs. Opener Taufeeq Umar scored his second half-century of the match.
Afridi, who made 5 in the first innings, again flopped with the bat. He scored 13 while Asim Kamal made 8 before being bowled by Saad Altaf. After making 56 in first essay, Taufeeq cracked three fours in his unbeaten 51 off 69 balls.
When stumps were drawn for the third day, Attock Group were reeling at 34 for 2 in their second innings. They needed another 432 to win the match on the final day with eight wickets in hand.
The pace duo of Wasim Khan and Tahir Mugha,l and left-arm spinner Qaiser Abbas took three wickets apiece to push National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) towards a winning position against Pakistan Customs on the penultimate day at the NBP Sports Complex.
Playing without Mohammad Sami, who joined Pakistan for the third Test against West Indies, Wasim took 3 for 60 in 15.4 overs, Tahir Mughal 3 for 68 and Qaiser 3 for 40 with 19 overs of left-arm spin. Customs were dismissed for 231 in their second innings. Aamer Iqbal hit 11 fours in his 71 and Rehan Rafiq hit five fours and a six in his 59. Customs at one stage were reeling at 71 for 4 but Aamer and Rehan shared a fighting 114-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Earlier NBP, resuming at their overnight score of 256 for 8, gained a 22-run lead by mustering 284 in reply to Pakistan Customs' 262. Wicketkeeper Amin-ur-Rehman scored a timely 29 to secure the all important lead. Fast bowler Stephen John finished with 4 for 69 runs in 15.3 overs. Rizwan Akbar got 4 for 65 in 27 overs.
Defending champions National Bank needed 210 to win on the last day and will earn the full nine points if they go on to clinch victory. This would take their tally to 18 after all their four matches had been played.