Fresh from his successful trip to Abu Dhabi, where he took seven wickets in three ODIs against West Indies, Sohail Tanvir returned to the Pentangular Cup to tear through Baluchistan's batting line-up and put the Federal Areas in an unexpectedly dominant position, given their poor start earlier in the day.
Though Baluchistan collapsed to 33 for 6 at the end of day one as Tanvir took all the wickets, they were never in danger of following on since Federal Areas were bowled out for 146 - four runs short of the total required to enforce a follow-on. It was a day for the seamers as Bilal Khilji and Nazar Hussain shared seven Federal Areas wickets before Tanvir got his career-best figures of 6 for 10. He can increase his haul on Wednesday when Federal Areas look to wrap up Baluchistan and gain a substantial first-innings lead.
Four of Tanvir's dismissals didn't need the help of fielders - three lbws and one bowled - and no Baluchistan batsman managed to reach double figures. Federal Areas didn't fare too well either; their top score was No. 8 Yasir Arafat's 32.
With North West Frontier Province miles ahead of the other teams, with 27 points from three games, the battle is on for the second finalist's spot. Federal Areas can bump Baluchistan off the second spot if they win this game.
Opener Azhar Ali rescued Punjab from a dire situation with an unbeaten century against NWFP in Lahore. Punjab will hope he can take them past 250 on Wednesday after they ended the opening day on 238 for 8.
Medium-pacer Nauman Habib struck early blows to Punjab by removing two top-order batsmen with the total at 29. Mansoor Amjad (29), however, hung on for nearly one and a half hours, and added 60 with Azhar before he too was dismissed by Habib, whose three dismissals were all caught behind. After Amjad's exit, Punjab lost three more wickets in quick succession before Abdur Rehman (10) and Wahab Riaz (19) added useful runs to partnerships with Azhar. In his 206-ball innings, Azhar hit 17 fours and one six.