With the latest bout of matches in both divisions completed, a familiar pattern emerged in the top tier, but some surprises in the second rung.
Faisalabad v National Bank; saw a stalemate over the 4 days. Zeeshan Butt contributed 58 & 25*.
Habib Bank v Islamabad; Even without their leading stars, the Bank beat Islamabad by an innings and 27 runs. Khaqan Arsal hit a brisk 122. Sarmad Anwar bagged 3 vital wickets in the game.
Islamabad skipper, Zohaib Ahmed, achieved a career best 7/84.
Karachi Blues v PIA; PIA, also inflicted an innings defeat on Karachi. Off spinner, Tahir Khan, picked up 4/84 in the second innings. Mohammad Sami’s runs & wickets unable to help his sides lost cause.
ZTBL were beaten in a thrilling tie with Rawalpindi by 25 runs. Seasoned International, Rao Iftikhar, taking 5/49, as Usman Saeed held his side together with 94.
Zohaib Khan, showing the way with 58, as, Rao 2/49 & Rehan Riaz 3/17 combined to dismiss Rawalpindi cheaply. Despite Shahid Yousaf’s 39 & Zulqarnain Haider’s defiant 76, ZTBL were unable to reach the finish line.
In Division 2, last year’s champions, KRL were skittled by Karachi Whites by 111 runs. Behind by 130, KRL were nowhere near their 305 run target. Mohammad Wasim’s 42 being the score of note.
Peshawar, mourning the loss of their team mate, Nauman Habib, dismantled newcomers, United Bank in clinical fashion by 153 runs. Waqar Ahmed scored a career best 47, after seeing his side collapse to 90/7. Former Test seamer, Riaz Afridi secured the points for his side, with a 6/64 haul, his 18th such occasion in an innings.
Division One Leaders:
WAPDA - Played 4, Won 4, 33 Points
Habib Bank - Played 4, Won 3, 21 Points
State Bank - Played 4, Won 2, 18 Points
Division Two Leaders:
Peshawar - Played 4, Won 4, 36 Points
Sui Gas - Played 4, Won 4, 36 Points
Karachi Whites - Played 4, Won 3, 27 Points
On the International front, congratulations to Pakistan for a 9 wicket defeat of Sri Lanka. Abdur Rehman returned for the 2nd Test against Sri Lanka and took 2/40 and 2/65, whilst Umar Gul’s new ball spells saw him earn 3/78 in the first innings.
Taufeeq Umar (27) and Mohammad Hafeez (33) set a platform of 62, whilst Younus Khan (55) scored his 25th Test half century. Skipper, Misbah ul Haq made 41 as his side lead by 76 runs going into day 4 and the wicket turning. Saeed Ajmal spun his side to victory with a 5 wicket haul, but it was left to Mohamamd Hafeez to raced to 59* in 65 deliveries to seal the win with a day to spare.