KARACHI: Table leaders Wapda were on course for victory after reducing Karachi Blues to 166-5 in their second innings at the halfway stage of the Faysal Bank Quaid-i-Azam Trophy National Cricket Championship Division I match at the National Stadium here on Wednesday.
Karachi Blues, facing a first-innings deficit of 75, lead by only 91 runs with half of their side already back in the pavilion including Pakistan discard Shahzaib Hasan who slammed 13 boundaries in a 96-ball 71 before nicking a wide delivery from paceman Azhar Attari to wicket-keeper Ahmed Said.
One of Blues’ wickets fell to a freakish run out when Wajihuddin left his crease after surviving a LBW shout against slow left-armer Zulfiqar Babar.
But Riffatullah Mohmand fielding close in on the off-side showed great presence of mind and swiftly hit the stumps.
Earlier, Wapda added 144 to their overnight score of 75-3 before being all out for 219 with left-handed Ali Azmat top-scoring with 51. Discarded Test fast bowler Sohail Khan grabbed 4-60.
Sharjeel Khan, the 22-year-old left-handed opener, notched up his maiden double century to put Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) in impregnable position against Sialkot at the Jinnah Stadium. He scored 205 off only 186 balls with the help of 33 fours and five sixes as ZTBL reached 361-4 in their second innings to enjoy an overall lead of 385.
Earlier, Sohail Tanvir claimed all three remaining wickets to finish with 6-19 as Sialkot were bowled out for 97 in response to ZTBL’s first-innings tally of 121.
Bilal Shafayat, the former Nottinghamshire player, led Habib Bank’s fightback against Rawalpindi by stroking an unbeaten 97 as the defending champions reached 237-2 in their second innings after Rawalpindi had earned a first-innings lead of 47 by making 161 at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.
Faisalabad made a spirited response to PIA’s first-innings total of 396 by reaching 192-2 at the Iqbal Stadium.
State Bank were in trouble at 166-7 after Islamabad collected 276 in their first innings at the Diamond Club Ground.
National Bank fought back to have Abbottabad struggling at 119-5 after conceding a lead of 35 runs on the first innings at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium with the hosts’ paceman Ahmed Jamal claiming 6-55.
Close of play scores on Wednesday (day two of four):
At National Stadium, Karachi: KARACHI BLUES 144 in 52.4 overs (Tanvir Ahmed 44; Azhar Attari 4-34, M. Imran Khan 4-42) and 166-5 in 45 overs (Shahzaib Hasan 71); WAPDA 219 in 65.2 overs (Ali Azmat 51; Sohail Khan 4-60, Azam Hussain 3-41).
At Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad: PIA 396 in 98.2 overs (Shoaib Khan 120, Sarfraz Ahmed 87, Fahad Iqbal 62; Abdur Rauf 5-93); FAISALABAD 192-2 in 65 overs (Farrukh Shahzad 76 not out).
At Jinnah Stadium, Sialkot: ZTBL 121 in 46 overs (Zohaib Khan 44; Mohammad Abbas 5-43, Mohammad Imran 3-33) and 361-4 in 69 overs (Sharjeel Khan 205, Shahid Yousuf 57, Imran Nazir 56); SIALKOT 97 in 37.1 overs (Sohail Tanvir 6-19, Mohammad Khalil 4-38).
At Diamond Club Ground, Islamabad: ISLAMABAD 276 in 102.2 overs (Afaq Raheem 100; Saad Altaf 5-76); STATE BANK 166-7 in 59 overs (Kashif Siddique 55).
At Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium: HABIB BANK 114 in 38.4 overs (Sadaf Hussain 9-37) and 237-2 in 71.4 overs (Bilal Shafayat 97 not out, Shan Masood 58, Ahmed Shahzad 45); RAWALPINDI 161 in 39.5 overs (Fahad Masood 5-56, Sarmad Anwar 4-73).
At Abbottabad Cricket Stadium: ABBOTTABAD 222 in 67.3 overs (Khalid Usman 82 not out; Mohammad Talha 3-42, Umaid Asif 3-54) and 119-5 in 29 overs (Fawad Khan 53); NATIONAL BANK 187 in 63.1 overs (Umar Amin 70; Ahmed Jamal 6-55, Ikramullah Khan 3-71).