Sialkot suffered a setback when they lost seven wickets for only 154 in their first innings against Karachi Harbour, at the National Stadium . After Karachi Harbour posted 293 yesterday, Sialkot were still 139 behind with only three wickets in hand.
Anwar Ali scored his maiden first-class half-century, scoring 59 to take Karachi Harbour close to a total of 300. He scored seven fours and a six in his knock and his ninth-wicket partnership with fellow seamer Faraz Ahmed (16) was 63. Anwar then started Sialkot's slump by trapping opener Atiq-ur-Rehman for a duck second ball. There were pockets of resistance later on, but none lasted long enough. Mohammad Ayub and Tariq Mahmood added 43 for the fifth wicket.
With Shahid Yousuf having to retire hurt without scoring and seamers Faraz Ahmed and Uzair-ul-Haq bowling effectively, Sialkot don't appear to have much of a chance to take the first-innings lead.
Points for Karachi Harbour will help them hold on to their spot in the Gold League. They already appear to have avoided demotion to next season's Silver League circuit.
Karachi Urban held the upper hand with a first-innings lead of 154 after wrapping up Faisalabad for a modest 200 at the United Bank Limited (UBL) Sports Complex Ground No.1 . The only real resistance from Faisalabad came from their captain Misbah-ul-Haq. Coming in at 22 for 2, remained unbeaten till the end with 83, off 161 balls with nine fours and a six. He also added 63 for the fifth wicket with Naved Latif (39) was significant.
Faisalabad were tied down by offspinner Tahir Khan who took 4 for 64 in less than 20 overs. Seamer Imran Javed took 3 for 40 in 11 overs and young left-arm spinner Azam Hussain 2 for 54 in 21.
Karachi Urban are currently at second place in the Gold League table behind Sialkot, who too have an identical points tally of 24. Karachi Urban will now most probably join defending champions Sialkot in the final, if they go on to beat Faisalabad here.
No play was possible for the second day running in the match between Peshawar and Lahore Shalimar at the Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar.