Having been left with the rather difficult task of chasing a steep victory target of 352 runs, Sialkot were threatened with a big defeat as they lost three wickets with only nine runs scored in their second innings against Karachi Whites at the United Bank Limited (UBL) Sports Complex Ground No.1 on Friday. Sialkot, overnight at 144 for 8, were dismissed for 166 runs yesterday morning, conceding a first-innings lead of 106. Karachi Whites rode on a brisk century by the opening batsman Khalid Latif as they made 245 for 8 in their second innings. Mohammad Sami struck two lethal blows as three Sialkot wickets fell cheaply. Tanvir Ahmed took the third wicket from the other end. Earlier, Tanvir finished the Sialkot first innings with impeccable figures of 6 for 43, in the process also crossing the 250-wicket mark in 67 first-class matches. The 28-year old Tanvir's career had started in 1999-00.
Khalid Latif, 22, a former Pakistan Under-19s captain under whom the team won the Under-19s World Cup staged in Bangladesh in 2004, reached his fourth first-class hundred, as he made 104 off only 155 balls in just short of four hours with 16 fours and a six. The other Karachi batsmen didn't do much, in the face of some hostile Sialkot bowling especially from fast-medium Imran Malik (3 for 36), but Atif Ali Zaidi (30) stayed long enough to help Khalid in a 97-run stand for the third wicket. Later, the in-form and prolific Afsar Nawaz hit 38 runs off just 42 balls with the help of five boundaries. Champions of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Championship title in 2005-06 and runners-up last season, Sialkot have lost two of their three matches this time and have gained no points. Defending champions Karachi Whites -- it was in fact Karachi Urban who won in 2006-07 -- have 12 points from three matches.
Water and Power Development Authority's (WAPDA) captain Aamer Sajjad, unbeaten at 99 overnight, fell without adding to his score yesterday morning but his team took its first-innings lead over Faisalabad to 179 runs at the Iqbal stadium in Faisalabad. WAPDA scored 447 in response to Faisalabad's 268. The home team was 75 for two in its second innings by the close of play yesterday. WAPDA's Tariq Aziz raised his score to 167 runs, made off 239 balls with 18 fours in five hours 23 minutes and shared a 286-run third-wicket stand with Aamer Sajjad. Bilal Khilji scored an unbeaten 84 off 153 balls with seven boundaries.
Lahore Ravi made short work of the Pakistan Customs, and won by a convincing nine-wicket margin, within three days of their fourth-round match at the Lahore City Cricket Association (LCCA) Ground in Lahore on Friday. Tottering at 28 for 4 in their second innings on Thursday afternoon, still 72 runs in deficit, Customs were bowled out for 133 in their second innings. Needing a mere 34 runs to win, the Lahore team made 36 for one and got through. The lone fight in the Customs second innings was put up by the captain Zahoor Elahi, a former Pakistan representative, who remained unbeaten at 59 after having come in at number six. He batted for just short of two and quarter hours, faced 74 balls and hit eight fours. The Lahore Ravi pace trio bowled splendidly, with Waqas Ahmed finishing with figures of 4 for 51 in 16.3 overs. Salman Rahat got 3 for 28 and captain Junaid Zia followed his first innings figures of 6 for 34 with 2 for 46 runs the second time.
Customs are having a really terrible time this season. They were already at the bottom of the 11-team Group A table and have now fallen to their fourth successive defeat. Lahore Ravi have risen to be among the top four, with 18 points from their four matches.
At the Gymkhana Ground in Okara, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) had Multan forced to follow on. Facing NBP's big first innings score of 514, Multan were bowled out for 246, thus conceding a lead of 268 runs. They were 113 for 2 in their second innings, still needing another 155 runs just to make NBP bat again. Hammad Tariq earlier completed a hundred, his 101 coming off 158 balls with 13 fours and a six.
Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) lifted themselves from the bottom of the 11-team ranking, as they defeated table leaders Islamabad by six wickets at the Diamond Club ground in Islamabad on Friday, with over a day to spare. Islamabad, after having been dismissed for 95 runs in their first innings, totalled 257 in the second. And ZTBL polished off the required 136 without breaking into a sweat. For ZTBL, former Pakistan left-arm fast-medium bowler Mohammad Khalil bagged 10 wickets in the match. Following his first innings 6 for 45, yesterday he completed 4 for 81 in 22.5 overs. For ZTBL, yesterday's victory was their first in four matches following two losses and now they have climbed up to number seven with nine points. Islamabad suffered their first defeat after three successive wins.
Powered by three individual centuries, Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) scored 491 for 6 declared after Lahore Shalimar had managed only 227 runs in their first innings at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore. Facing a massive deficit of 264, the Lahore team were 73 for 3 in their second outing. The century-makers in the KRL innings were Mohammad Wasim (125), Azhar Ali (110) and Saeed Anwar (106). After Wasim and Azhar had added 179 runs for the second wicket, Azhar joined hands with Saeed for a 177-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) stretched their first-innings lead to 189 runs over Hyderabad after making 416 at the Niaz stadium in Hyderabad. Saeed Bin Nasir extended his overnight 140 to 163 that came off 231 balls in a little over five and a half hours with 23 fours and a six. The allrounder Rizwan Ahmed hit a century, 103 not out off 196 balls with eight fours, in Hyderabad's second innings of 214-4. The hosts are only 25 runs ahead though at the moment. SSGC's in-form pace bowler Sohail Khan captured all Hyderabad second innings wickets to fall, for 55 runs. He has already taken eight wickets here, to add to his 16 in his team's previous two matches.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) beat Peshawar by the big margin of 262 runs at the Arbab Niaz stadium in Peshawar, also within three days of their four-day Group B encounter. Faisal Iqbal closed the second innings at 283 for 8 that left Peshawar with an improbable target of 402 runs. The home team crashed to 139 all out. Earlier, PIA opener Khurram Manzoor took his score to 143 runs, made off only 164 balls with 21 fours and a four. With another nine points, PIA have taken their tally to 27 in four matches, the same as Islamabad's. Peshawar remain stuck at three points in three appearances.
Quetta forced Abbottabad to follow on at the Bugti stadium in Quetta. Abbottabad conceded a first-innings lead of 179 runs, although opener Wajid Ali made 114 in their total of 282 runs. In their second innings, Abbottabad were 78 for 2, still 101 runs behind.