Karachi Whites gained a full nine points as they defeated Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) by seven wickets on the third day of their third-round Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match at the National Stadium.
Karachi Whites finished on 297, a first-innings lead of 76, and dismissed debutants SSGC for 155. Needing just 80 to win and take their points tally to 12 from three matches, the Whites lost three wickets on the way to victory.
Earlier, Karachi took their overnight score of 280 from 8 to 297, with left-arm pace bowler Waqar Ahmed (2 for 40) picking up the last two wickets. The in-form Afsar Nawaz remained unbeaten with 65 off 108 balls in just over two hours with ten fours and a six.
The SSGC batting was undone by the Whites pace-bowling trio. After Mohammad Sami, the captain, removed opener Mohtashim Ali, Tanvir Ahmed (5 for 80) and Fahad Khan (4 for 37), ran through the rest of the batting. Tanvir finished with 8 for 137 in the match, following his first-innings 3 for 57. Fahad, who will turn 24 later this month, also completed 50 wickets in 19 first-class matches.
Karachi Whites will now meet Sialkot in a fourth-round match, starting at the same venue from November 7. The same day, SSGC will play Hyderabad at the Niaz Stadium.
Habib Bank Limited (HBL) completed an innings-and-75-run win over Sialkot with a full day to spare at the Lahore Country Club in Muridke. Sialkot, Quaid-e-Azam champions in 2005-06 and runners-up last season, were forced to follow on the day before and capitulated to a poor 129.
Only opener Naeemuddin (31) and legspinner Adeel Malik (39) got decent starts while left-arm spinner Aslam Qureshi picked up 5 for 31 in 18 overs. He finished with a match haul of 8 for 63. Danish Kaneria, the Pakistan legspinner, took 4 for 82 and 2 for 39 to help HBL considerably in a rather comfortable win.
From their three matches so far, Habib Bank have collected 27 points with three straight wins. They have a rest coming up during the fourth-round action. Sialkot proceed to Karachi, where they will play against the Whites at the National Stadium from November 7.
At the Multan Cricket Stadium, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) took a 242-run lead over Multan. Bilal Khilji's 147 from 219 balls helped WAPDA to 480. Multan were in trouble at the close of play, having lost six wickets with only 71 on the board. They still need another 171 to make WAPDA bat again.
Bottom-of-the-table Pakistan Customs recovered slightly after surrendering a first-innings lead of 238, reaching 178 for 1 at the Iqbal Stadium. Hosts Faisalabad earlier compiled 420 in response to Customs' poor 182.
National Bank, spurred by a magnificent 176 from Naved Latif, totalled 418 in reply to Lahore Ravi's 283 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Faced with a 135-run deficit, Lahore slumped to 108 for 5.
Karachi Blues inflicted an innings-and-188-run defeat on Peshawar with a full day to spare at the National Bank of Pakistan Stadium. A visibly weak Peshawar batting line-up crashed twice against the Karachi Blues bowlers, managing poor scores of 118 and 98 in two innings, after the hosts ran up a first-innings 404 for 9 before applying closure.
Nawaz Ahmed, 20, played the lone fighting hand with an unbeaten 60 in the first innings, battling a little over two and a half hours. The top-score in Peshawar's second innings, after having been forced to follow on, was opener Usman Zaib's 36 off 46 deliveries with six fours. Tariq Haroon, the medium-fast bowler, and slow left-arm spinner Azam Hussain were virtually unplayable, as they picked up four wickets each at a personal cost of 32 and 24 runs, respectively. In Peshawar's first innings, left-arm medium-fast bowler Malik Aftab took 5 for 58 and in the second, he snared the important wicket of Nawaz. Azam Hussain had match figures of 7 for 54.
Karachi Whites, who have moved up the Group B table with 12 points, now have a well-deserved rest coming up. Peshawar will have to contend with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), in a fourth-round match starting at the Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar from November .
Lahore Shalimar also wrapped up a three-day win over Quetta by five wickets at the Bugti Stadium. As many as 17 wickets fell on the opening day, but Lahore recovered and gained a 131-run first-innings lead. Quetta scored 247 in their second innings but the visitors required only 117 to win.
Lahore Shalimar have now opened their account and have nine points from three matches as they move to a fourth-round match against Khan Research Laboratories (KRL). Quetta will host Abbottabad in their next match at the same venue, also on November 7.
At the Diamond Cricket Club Ground, hosts Islamabad, with a score of 306, took a 60-run first-innings lead over Rawalpindi. In their second innings, Rawalpindi were 8 or 190, only 130 ahead with two wickets standing.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) ran up 407 at the Sheikhupura Stadium, which gave them a 132-run first-innings lead over Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), who then slipped to 24 for 2 by stumps. ZTBL captain Abdul Razzaq, returning after having announced his retirement earlier this year, bowled 25 overs - of which 11 were maidens - and took 1 for 5.
At the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) Stadium in Rawalpindi, Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) were 9 for 175 in their second inings, atter taking a 64-run first-innings lead over KRL. Their overall lead was 239 but with only one wicket in hand, the match could be slipping out of their hands.