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Test discard Hasan Raza bludgeoned a forceful 188 as Habib Bank Limited (HBL) ended day three of their Pentangular Cup 2007 match against the combined North West Frontier Province-Baluchistan team at the NBP Sports Complex, Karachi, in a commanding position.
Starting the day 79 runs ahead of their opponents, HBL did not have the best of starts as they lost their first two wickets for only 26 runs. However, first Imran Farhat (66) and Sulaman Qadir shared a 101-run third wicket partnership and then Qadir and Hasan dispatched the NWFP-Baluchistan bowlers to all parts of the ground in their mammoth 237-run stand. Qadir was finally dismissed by Nasir Jalil for 125 but Humayun Farhat scored 41 to enable HBL to march towards the 500-mark.
HBL finished the day on 498 for the loss of eight wickets, a total lead of 577 and with a whole day's play remaining, victory is surely in sight. For the combined side, Jalil picked up three wickets while Arun Lal and Mohammad Fayyaz grabbed a brace each.
Sind suffered a usual batting collapse in their second innings but still have a chance to register their first win of the tournament against Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) at the National Stadium, Karachi.
At the close of day three, KRL required a further 275 with six second innings wickets remaining. Mohammad Wasim, KRL captain, was unbeaten on 16 while Usman Saeed had made 11 as these two rescued their side from 37 for four.
Earlier, after grabbing KRL's last five wickets for only 16 runs, Sind looked all set to add to their 170-runs first innings lead. However, barring Fahad Iqbal (57), the whole side failed to stamp authority as the innings wrapped up for only 165. Mohammad Irshad added four wickets to his tally while Saeed Ajmal, Shehzad Butt and even skipper Mohammad Wasim captured two wickets each.