There was more drama off the field at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, with Habib Bank Limited captain Younis Khan summoned by PCB chief Ijaz Butt for an 15-minute emergency meeting. Later in the day, Younis was named as Pakistan's new leader, but he will have to get his focus back on the game tomorrow. HBL finished at 191 for 7, with Younis unbeaten on 50, and need 62 runs to go past Lahore Shalimar's 252. Resuming on 219 for 6, Lahore were bowled out in 18 overs. Zulqarnain Haider added only six to his overnight 61 while the wickets fell at the other end. HBL made a positive start with Ahmed Shehzad hitting a 40-ball 35 and his partner Imran Nazir, not the former international now with the ICL, went on to score his maiden half-century. However, Mohammad Naved took a five-wicket haul - his eighth in tenth first-class game - to reduce the visitors to 138 for 7. Younis the steadied the innings with Sajid Shah, who was on 28 not out at close.
Junaid Nadir quickly ended Karachi Whites' innings on the second day - they added four to their overnight 228 for 8 - but Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited struggled in their reply at the National Stadium, and their hopes of first-innings points now hinge on their ninth-wicket pair. Nadir took both wickets to complete his second five-for - this being his eighth game - and then chipped in with 41 from No. 5 in an otherwise mediocre effort from the specialist batsmen. Afaq Raheem was the only other player in the top six to reach double figures, but ZTBL were given hope by Shakeel Ansar and Mohammad Khalil. The duo finished with unbeaten scores of 43 and 33, and their 60-run stand took them to 187 for 8 at stumps. If they fall short, the visitors might regret the 30 extras they conceded. Tariq Haroon was the pick of the Karachi bowlers, with 5 for 62 off 24 overs.
It was a similar tale in Gujranwala, with Pakistan Customs and defending champions Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited battling to gain the first-innings lead. SNGPL managed 196 from their overnight 134 for 6, with Azhar Shafiq scoring an unbeaten 98. Aamer Yousuf starred with 5 for 68, his maiden five-wicket haul. Imran Ali then struck thrice in the Pakistan Customs innings to leave them at 120 for 6, which came at a brisk five runs per over. SNGPL bowled 19 no-balls in the innings.
Allrounder Yasir Arafat will have to wait for his shot at bagging ten wickets in an innings, with not a single bowled on the second day in Rawalpindi. Arafat's 7 for 19 had left Sui Southern Gas Corporation at 57 for 7 in reply to Khan Research Laboratories' 191.
It was another frustrating day in Sialkot, as no play was possible yet again in the match between Pakistan International Airlines and Water and Power Development Authority.
At the Iqbal Stadium, hosts Faisalabad were bowled out for 151 - they began the day at 51 for 4 - but managed to keep their chances of the first-innings lead alive, taking four wickets for 61 in Islamabad's innings. Saad Altaf took five for the visitors, and Rauf Akbar chipped in with three before Ahmed Hayat struck twice in Islamabad's 61 off 26.3 overs.
Hyderabad, resuming on 232 for 2, batted 67 overs on the second day before declaring their first innings on 471 for 9 at the Niaz Stadium against Abbottabad. Azeem Ghumon and Faisal Athar, the not-out batsmen from day one, both fell in the 140s. Hanif Malik was the next-best with 71, while the last two in the line-up, Kashif Bhatti and Naeem-ur-Rehman, scored 31 and 21 in an unbroken 40-run stand for the tenth wicket. Abbottabad's opening bowlers took eight wickets between them for 136: Armaghan Elahi had 5 for 69 and Rashid Mansoor 3 for 67. The visitors lost one wicket in their 14 overs till stumps, scoring 48.
A century from Ayaz Tasawwar and some disciplined bowling helped leaders Sialkot gain the advantage against Multan in Okara. Tasawwar's 100 not out took Sialkot from 230 for 7 to a formidable 339. He scored 62 of those runs, with No. 10 Naved Arif making a quick 39-ball 30. Sialkot then chipped away at the Multan line-up. Aqeel Abbas, Nadeem Javed and Nayyer Abbas grabbed two wickets apiece as the hosts were left fumbling at 164 for 7 in reply, with Rameez Alam unbeaten on 66 off 170 balls.
Second-placed Rawalpindi also gained the upper hand in their match against Lahore Ravi at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Mohammad Rameez, the 18-year-old medium-pacer, took 2 for 16 in 14 overs as Lahore closed the day at 83 for 3, off 50 overs. Earlier in the day, Rawalpindi extended their score from 250 for 6 to 304. Nineteen-year-old Fawad Hussan, overnight on 85, got his third century in his ninth innings at the first-class level. For Lahore, Waqas Ahmed and Junaid Zia took three wickets each, while Sohail Ahmed and Kashif Siddiq scalped two.
No play was possible in the tie between Peshawar and Quetta, which began today.