Pakistan Customs attained their second consecutive win, a rather comfortable one by five wickets against Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) in a second-round, Group A Patrons Cup match.

SNGPL were bowled out for a modest 186 runs in 49.3 overs, after having been asked to bat first, while Customs needed just 36.4 overs to reach the target. Azhar Shafiq, the captain, led the Customs assault with a splendid 90 off 95 deliveries with 10 fours and two sixes. Hardly anyone got big scores when SNGPL batted, the top innings being Misbah-ul-Haq's 33 off 36 balls with four fours and a six.

Stephen John, Murtaza Hussain and left-arm spinners Azam Hussain and Fawad Alam helped Customs keep the pressure on the SNGPL batsmen with two wickets apiece.

Habib Bank registered their second successive win, as they beat Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) by two wickets in another Group A match at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex.

KRL were put in to bat and made 256 in 49.5 overs. Habib Bank lost eight wickets in pursuit of their target and won with only one ball to spare. Habib Bank's hero was Taufeeq Umar, who scored an enterpising 84 off 106 balls with six fours. After a sound start of 78 in 15 overs with Rafatullah Mohmand (37), Taufeeq got involved in a 106-run partnership for the third wicket with Farhan Adil, who scored 47. However, three quick wickets for just one run reduced them from 203 for 4 to 204 for 7. It took great courage from Abdul Rehman, left-handed allrounder, to take them through to a win, as he hit an unbeaten 32 off just 30 deliveries with the help of two sixes.

The bowlers did well in the match too. For Habib Bank, Danish Kaneria captured 3 for 45, while left-arm spinner Rehman and Junaid Zia, the fast bowler, also bagged three each. KRL's offspinner Saeed Ajmal was more successful with 4 for 35 in 10 overs.

For KRL, Saeed Anwar Junior, the left-handed opener, hit 54 off 90 balls with six fours. From 157 for 5, his team was boosted by a 54-run sixth-wicket stand. Saeed Bin Nasir's 60 came off just 55 balls with three fours and three sixes while Asif Iqbal contributed a run-a-ball 33 with two fours and two sixes.

National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) started their 2005-06 Patrons Cup campaign with a comfortable 63-run win in a Group B match against Service Industries at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. NBP ran up a big total of 302 for 9 and then dismissed Service for 239, handing them their second consecutive defeat of the competition.

Service needed 40 overs in making 202 runs, which meant they needed 100 off the last ten. They had, however, lost only four wickets by then, thanks mainly to Masood Asim's 91 off 111 balls that included 10 fours. The fourth-wicket stand produced 88 runs which was followed by another partnership of 85 for the fifth wicket. Khurram Shahzad (41) and Mustansar Ali (45) were both among the runs but NBP's teenaged legspinner Mansoor Amjad then captured 5 for 37 from 8.1 overs as Service lost three wickets with the score at 209, and five within 16 runs.

Earlier, Service got off to a poor start, losing three wickets with only 29 on the board, as Imran Javed, the medium-pacer, struck three blows. For NBP, Shahid Yousuf top-scored with 90 off 111 balls with nine fours and a six. With Naumanullah, the captain, whose 80 took 113 balls with five fours and a six, Shahid helped add 178 for the third wicket in 36 overs. The last 10 overs saw NBP scoring another 90 runs. Naved Latif took only 18 balls to score 36 with a four and four sixes.

Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) won their Group B match against Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) by five runs due to the Duckworth/Lewis method at the Khan Research Laboratories Stadium on Monday.

After PTCL raced to 288 for 9 in their 50 overs, ZTBL replied with 173 for 4 in the 32 overs that they faced. When the umpires decided to call off the match due to fading light, ZTBL were ahead by five runs according to the D/L calculations. The unbroken 58-run stand for the fifth wicket off just eight overs was what made the difference. Bilal Asad was unbeaten at 39 off 42 balls with four fours and a six while Atif Ashraf was not out on 21.

For PTCL, Aamer Bashir, the captain, hammered 97 not out off 117 balls with seven fours and two sixes. With opener Usman Tariq, who made 74 off 81 deliveries with 11 fours, he put on 101 for the fourth wicket.

Aamer was then joined by the prolific Shahzad Malik and the two proceeded to add another 140 for the fifth wicket. Shahzad needed a mere 63 deliveries to make 75 with four fours and a six.