KARACHI: PIA hit back in great style to take charge against United Bank in their second-round President’s Trophy Grade-I National Cricket Championship match at the UBL Sports Complex here on Wednesday.

After being dismissed for 214 on day one, PIA bowlers, led by Test paceman Aizaz Cheema and emerging off-spinner Akhtar Kayani sent United Bank, who began the day 16-0, crashing to 125 all out on the second day of action to earn a more than handy lead of 89 runs on the first innings.

Opener Agha Sabir then banged 12 boundaries in his 57 off 71 balls as PIA further consolidated their position by reaching 100-4 in the second innings to enjoy an overall lead of 189 runs.

First-class newcomers Port Qasim Authority (PQA) gained a 38-run lead after State Bank were bowled out for 180 in their first innings at the National Stadium with pace trio of Abdur Rauf (4-56), Tanvir Ahmed (3-23) and Mohammad Talha (3-74) sharing the wickets for PQA.

State Bank were in heaps of trouble at 77-5 before Mohtashim Ali (34) and wicket-keeper/batsman Gulraiz Sadaf (50 off 82 balls with eight boundaries) revived the innings in a stand worth 71 runs. Gulraiz’s opposite number Mohammad Salman excelled with four catches behind the stumps.

PQA lost both their openers Khurram Manzoor (4) and Shahzaib Hasan (9) in reaching 45-2 in the second innings to hold an overall advantage of 83 runs.

All-rounder Zohaib Khan excelled with both bat and ball to put Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) on top against National Bank at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot.

ZTBL, who were 291-7 at stumps on Tuesday, made 372 with Zohaib converting his overnight score of 45 into an undefeated 83 (96 balls, seven fours). Ex-Test paceman Mohammad Khalil used the long handle to good effect as he made 34 in the ninth-wicket stand of 53 with Zohaib.

National Bank, who lost Habib Bank in the first round, were off to fine start with Pakistan opener Nasir Jamshed (46 off 88 balls, seven fours) and young Sami Aslam, a member of the Pakistan Under-19 team, putting on 97 for the first wicket.

But once they went, the bankers lost their way before going to stumps at 202-5 with skipper Fawad Alam (15) and wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal (16) at the crease. Sami contributed 50 off 96 balls with six boundaries.

Zohaib was ZTBL’s bowling hero with three for 38 with his slow left-armers.

Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) found going extremely tough at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad as they subsided to 169-6 in reply to Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL)’s 291 with former international seamer Samiullah Khan Niazi taking three of the wickets.

SNGPL, who resumed at 243-8, added another 48 runs with Ali Waqas scoring 55.

Wapda made partial recovery through an 85-run partnership for the eighth-wicket between Bilal Khilji (60 not out, nine fours) and tailender Zulfiqar Babar (40) to make 218-8 against Habib Bank at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

Pakistan Under-19 paceman Ehsan Adil was responsible for Wapda’s woes with four for 53.

Earlier, Habib Bank added 45 to their Tuesday’s total of 243-7 with Usman Salahuddin, who retired hurt with an elbow injury the previous evening, adding 10 more runs to finish unbeaten with 84 (213 balls, 10 fours).Left-arm Test paceman Junaid Khan took one more wicket on Wednesday to finish with impressive analysis of 6-79 in 26 overs.

Close of play scores on Wednesday (day two of four): At National Stadium, Karachi: PORT QASIM AUTHORITY 218 in 92.4 overs (Shahzaib Hasan 60, Umar Amin 50; Hasan Mahmood 4-59, Adnan Rasool 3-69) and 45-2 in 12 overs; STATE BANK 180 in 45.4 overs (Gulraiz Sadaf 50; Abdur Rauf 4-56, Tanvir Ahmed 3-23, Mohammad Talha 3-74).

At UBL Sports Complex, Karachi: PIA 214 in 78.1 overs (Sarfraz Ahmed 75, Shahzar Mohammad 69; Kashif Bhatti 3-51) and 100-4 in 30.3 overs (Agha Sabir 57; Kashif Bhatti 3-24); UNITED BANK 125 in 57.4 overs (Aizaz Cheema 3-19, Akhtar Kayani 3-38).

At Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore: HABIB BANK 288 in 95.5 overs (Shan Masood 94, Usman Salahuddin 84 not out; Junaid Khan 6-79); WAPDA 218-8 in 68 overs (Bilal Khilji 60 not out, Sohaib Maqsood 49, Riffatullah Mohmand 44, Zulfiqar Babar 40; Ehsan Adil 4-53).

At Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad: SNGPL 291 in 95.1 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 68, Ali Waqas 55, Azhar Ali 49; Yasir Ali 3-38, Mohammad Irfan 3-69); KRL 169-6 in 69 overs (Samiullah Niazi 3-48).

At Jinnah Stadium, Sialkot: ZTBL 372 in 101.4 overs (Sharjeel Khan 121, Zohaib Khan 83 not out, Atif Ashraf 72; Uzair-ul-Haq 4-82, Mohammad Imran Khan 3-72); NATIONAL BANK 202-5 in 56 overs (Sami Aslam 50, Nasir Jamshed 46; Zohaib Khan 3-38).

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