HBL remain on top with big win

A round-up of the fourth day of the eighth round of Division One of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy

Habib Bank Limited continued their reign at the top of the table, crushing Water and Power Development Authority by an innings and 107 runs at the Diamond Club Ground in Islamabad. WAPDA floundered in their attempt to survive the final day after being reduced to 9 for 2 at stumps the previous day. Seamer Fahad Masood and Danish Kaneria were the wreckers-in-chief, grabbing four wickets each to bring an early end to the WAPDA resistance. They had reduced WAPDA to 69 for 6 before the lower order chipped in with useful contributions to delay what seemed inevitable. But 45.5 overs was all WAPDA managed to face, with Umaid Asif's 34 as their top score, and were bowled out for 163. The first-innings lead of 270 proved too much, and HBL surged to 57 points. WAPDA remain at No.2.
Faisalabad thumped Islamabad by 136 runs at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad to take the ninth place in the points table, just ahead of their opponents. Faisalabad were favourites to clinch the game after reducing Islamabad to 83 for 3 in their chase of 341 at stumps on the third day. Though the middle order got starts - Zeeshan Mushtaq made 47, captain Rauf Akbar chipped in with 26, Imad Wasim made 28 - it failed to consolidate. Seamer Ahmed Hayat picked up three wickets while offspinner Aqeel Ahmed snared four to bowl out Islamabad for 204.
A career-best, unbeaten 211 from Haris Sohail helped Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited gain a first-innings lead against National Bank of Pakistan at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot. In their response to NBP's score of 370, ZTBL were in a good position to take a lead at stumps on the third day, when they finished on 326 for 6 with centurion Sohail at the crease. But they were reduced to 358 for 8 on the fourth morning, and faced the risk of conceding points. But Sohail found support from No.9 and 10. Mohammad Khalil (44) and Sohail were involved in a 106-run stand for the ninth wicket that took ZTBL into the lead and last man Rehan Riaz made a handy 24 to help stretch the score to 530. ZTBL are on third place in the points table, NBP are sixth.
Rawalpindi eased to an eight-wicket win over Karachi Blues at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Seamers Sadaf Husain and Rashid Latif helped themselves to five-wicket hauls and Rawalpindi snapped up the two remaining wickets for not much after they had reduced their opponents to 176 for 8 at stumps on the third day. Karachi only managed a lead of 100 and opener Naved Malik's half-century helped knock it off in under 18 overs. With the win, Rawalpindi found themselves at fifth place, while Karachi were second from the bottom.