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Junaid six-for powers NWFP comeback

A round-up from the third day of the fifth round of Pentangular Cup matches

Cricinfo staff
Baluchistan 57 (Tanvir 7-21) and 147 for 3 (Shoaib Khan 64) need another 246 runs to beat Federal Areas 303 (Usman Saeed 87*, Kamran Hussain 5-58) and 146
Baluchistan's batsmen showed more appetite for the fight than they had displayed during their embarrassing first-innings effort of 57 all out, but they still face an uphill struggle to get back into the contest after being set a daunting 393 for victory by Federal Areas. By the close of the third day, they had reached 147 for 3, thanks to 64 from Shoaib Khan jnr, and an unbeaten 36 from Saeed Anwar jnr.
That target might have been more attainable had Federal Areas been bowled out cheaply after resuming in the morning session on 198 for 8 in their second innings. Instead they stretched their total to 303, thanks largely to Usman Saeed, who converted his overnight 21 to an unbeaten 87. He was well supported by Yasir Ali, who made 30 in a stand of exactly 100 for the ninth wicket.
Ali then struck early in Baluchistan's second innings, as Usman Tariq was caught behind for 11, while Sohail Tanvir, their first-innings tormentor, trapped Rameez Alam lbw for 13. Shoaib and Saeed prevented another collapse, but their hopes of victory are looking slim.
North West Frontier Province 228 (Younis 75*) and 105 for 3 need another 67 runs to beat Punjab 265 (Azhar Ali 116) and 134 (Junaid 6-56)
North West Frontier Province need another 67 runs on the final day against Punjab at Lahore, after Junaid Khan triggered a dramatic turnaround with second-innings figures of 6 for 56. Despite conceding a first-innings lead of 37, with Younis Khan adding only five runs to his overnight 70 before being left high and dry by the tail, NWFP roared into the ascendancy by skittling Punjab for 134 in 32.3 overs.
Junaid, a 19-year-old left-arm paceman, was the stand-out performer. After Nauman Habib had removed Punjab's captain, Mohammad Hafeez, in the first over, Junaid ripped through the middle order, reducing them to 75 for 7 before Mohammad Salman and Wahab Riaz staged a partial recovery. Salman top-scored with 35 before being bowled by Junaid.
Energised for their run-chase, NWFP set off at nearly a run a ball before losing both openers, Yasir Hameed and Adnan Raees, with the score on 21. Rafatullah Mohmand, however, reached the close on 35, and with Younis still waiting in the pavilion, his team are now odds-on to complete a comfortable win.