Despite a century by Adnan Raees, Abbottabad just failed to gain the first-innings lead against Hyderabad at the Niaz Stadium. After Hyderabad scored an exact 400 in their first innings, Abbottabad gave them a spirited reply. Resuming at their overnight 168 for 4 yesterday, still 232 behind, Abbottabad were finally dismissed for 399, just one run short of the home team's total.
Raees, the left-handed batsman from Mardan, compiled a resolute 137 that came off 273 balls in six hours 18 minutes with 14 fours and a six. He was involved in a couple of useful partnerships. With Zafar Jadoon the fifth-wicket stand was worth 61. Then, Adnan and youngster Riaz Kail added 113 for the sixth wicket. For Hyderabad, offspinner Nasir Awais bagged 5 for 59 runs in 34 overs.
Rizwan Ahmed's took three wickets with his legspin which, in the process also denied Abbottabad the lead.
Islamabad reached the top of the Silver League table with yet another innings win, this time against Quetta on the penultimate day at the Diamond Club ground. Islamabad defeated Abbottabad by an innings in the opener played on the same ground and yesterday won their second-successive match, beating Quetta by innings and 125 runs.
Resuming at the overnight score of 2 for 1, Quetta were bowled out for 294 in their second innings minutes before the scheduled close of the third day's play. Captain Rao Iftikhar Anjum picked up 5 for 97 to gain the maximum nine points for Islamabad.
Azhar Mahmood with 2 for 66 and debutant slow left-armer Imad Wasim (2 for 63) also played their part in the Islamabad win. Shoaib Khan yet again played the best innings for the visitors, striking 11 fours and a six on his way to get 71 -- his second successive fifty in the match. Sabir Hussain (64) and Shaukat Ali (43) also chipped in but no batsman stayed long enough to pose any threat to the Islamabad bowlers.
With two successive victories, Islamabad now have 18 points.
Multan's bowlers put their side at the threshold of a win against Lahore Ravi at the Lahore City Cricket Association (LCCA) Ground. The penultimate day produced action- packed cricket as altogether thirteen wickets fell and Lahore's second innings ended on a dismal note, bowled out for just 122 in 46.2 overs. At stumps, Multan were 35 for 1, still needing 87 runs and a full day's play remaining.
Earlier, Multan resumed at their overnight score of 269 for 8 and were all out at 298 going just one run ahead of Lahore Ravi. Bilal Khilji, overnight at 110 remained unbeaten with a score of 128 with 12 fours. Multan, led by paceman Abdur Rauf destroyed the frontline batting order, capturing five wickets for just 42 runs in 17.2 overs. He was supported by left-arm seamer Kamran Hussain who finished with 3 for 36 in 16 overs. Adnan Raza's unbeaten 28 was the highest for Lahore as six Lahore batsmen fell cheaply, without making it to double figures.
Imran Nazir, the Sialkot captain, scored a belligerent 68 to set up the prospect of an easy win, against Faisalabad, here at the Jinnah Stadium on Sunday. Faisalabad were bowled out for 195 in their second innings, leaving Sialkot a target of 224 yesterday.
Nazir gave Sialkot a flying start of 130 in a little over an hour-and-a-half with Atiq-ur-Rehman. Atiq is still at the crease with 53. At 144 for 1, Sialkot need only a further 80. They will, however, get only six points as they had conceded the first-innings lead to Faisalabad.
Faisalabad's Imran Ali, at 41 overnight, top-scored with 83 off 172 balls with 13 fours. Sarfraz Ahmed bagged 4 for 49 while Asim Butt followed his first innings 3 for 71 with figures of 3 for 44.
Yasir Arafat and Najaf Shah made inroads into Karachi Harbour's top-order to give Rawalpindi the upper hand at the Pindi Cricket Stadium. Yasir picked up 3 for 39 and Najaf 2 for 28 as Karachi were left struggling at 149 for 6 in their second innings, after they were left to score 259 for victory.
Only Khalid Latif, with a fighting 65 showed some guts against the tight Rawalpindi bowling. He struck six fours and was the sixth batsman to be dismissed, leaving a tough ask for the lower order to chase on the final day. Earlier, allrounder Sohail Tanvir scored his second successive fifty on a tricky pitch. Together with Najaf Shah he put on 84 for the ninth wicket that helped Rawalpindi set a decent victory target for the visitors.
Former Pakistan Under-19 fast bowler Anwar Ali picked up another six-wicket haul to finish the match with figures of 12 for 138. An interesting morning session is on the cards on Monday as Karachi need another 110 runs with only four second-innings wickets in hand.
Peshawar were left with a rather modest victory-target of 231 runs against Karachi Urban. In their second innings, Karachi Urban compiled 276, with Saeed Bin Nasir missing his hundred by just four runs.
Saeed occupied the crease for just over four-and-a-half hours, facing 215 deliveries and hitting eight fours and two sixes. The lower order contributed substantially too, with wicketkeeper Amin-ur-Rehman (31) and pace bowler Tanvir Ahmed (33) combining for a 74-run eighth-wicket stand. By stumps, Peshawar's openers added 22, still needing 209 to win.
Waqar Ahmed, the Peshawar seamer, finished with a match haul of nine wickets, taking 3 for 61 following his first innings haul of 6 for 50. Captain Arshad Khan was effective as usual taking 3 for 88 in 26 overs.