Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) set National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) a tough target of 375 runs to chase in their fourth-round Pentangular Cup Cricket Championship match at the Multan Cricket Stadium.
Strong batting by the PIA top order helped them reach 339 for 8 in the second innings before captain Yasir Hameed made the declaration. PIA had earlier gained a 35-run first-innings lead over NBP who ended the day on 58 for 2 with Umar Gul picking up both wickets. They still need another 317 runs to win the match with eight wickets in hand.
Yasir Hameed struck form for PIA, after a run of low scores, with his 12th first-class hundred. His 101 off 183 balls included 11 fours. The two openers were dismissed after a 94-run partnership before Yasir was joined by Kamran Sajid for a third-wicket partnership of 130 runs. Kamran's 52 off 94 balls included five fours.
Earlier, Agha Sabir had contributed 52 off 138 deliveries with seven fours. Small but useful contributions by the remaining batsmen took the PIA score to 339 for 8. Umar Gul hit three fours and two sixes while making 29 off just 19 balls.
NBP are in danger of losing their top place in the table and with that the opportunity of winning the Pentangular Cup. Faisalabad have played all their matches and have a total of 27 points while NBP have 18 with one more game to play.
PIA will raise their tally to 18 points with a win here, with their last match coming up in the fifth and final round that gets underway on Sunday. Another win for PIA as well as NBP -- who play Karachi Harbour in their last encounter -- will bring the tournament to an interesting situation. In this scenario, Faisalabad, NBP and PIA will all end up with 27 points each. The winner will then be decided on the basis of the best net run-rate.
National Bank of Pakistan
Pakistan Domestic Season