LAHORE/islamabad  - Khan Research Laboratories were propelled to the top of the table with 12 points after securing a draw against State Bank of Pakistan. KRL put SBP in, with the decision seemingly vindicated after Yasir Arafat bowled opener Raheel Majeed for just 1. A 53-run stand for the second wicket between Kashif Siddiq and Umair Khan saved early blushes, before an imperious 202 from Usman Arshad wrested the match in SBP’s favour. SBP finished their innings on 420, with Sadaf Hussain and Umaid Asif taking three wickets a piece. KRL’s effort proved even between, led by Ali Khan’s 187 at No. 6, with a pair of seventies from Shoaib Ahmed and Nayyer Abbas book-ending the innings. KRL finished on 481 despite Mohammad Naved taking 5 for 129. Facing a deficit of 61 runs, SBP did well to get past the mark with just a wicket lost. Majeed scored 50 while Umair Khan just missed out on an eight first-class ton when he was out for 97. SBP were 199 for 5 when stumps was called and the match was declared a draw.

A nerveless unbeaten 49 by Naeem Anjum in the second innings saw out a tricky 178-run chase for Pakistan Television as they held on to a four-wicket victory over Port Qasim Authority in Lahore. PQA batted first, with the openers putting on 64 for the first wicket. Innings from Faraz Ali (69) and Mohammad Waqas (88), pushed them to 316. Mohammad Ali’s took best figures of 5 for 75. Despite losing their openers with the score on just 11, and then suffering further set backs to be reduced to 51 for 4, Pakistan Television looked under the cosh, but Zeeshan Mushtaq (105) and Yasim Murtaza (70) rallied the team, helping them secure a slim 43-run lead. Mohammad Sami and Sohail Khan chipped in with three wickets a piece.

PQA’s second innings didn’t go to plan as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Despite a stirring effort from Shahzaib Hasan, with 105 off 110 balls which included seven fours and four sixes, none of the other batsmen, aside from Sami’s 30, were able to contribute significant scores as PQA were rolled for 220. Waqar Ahmed and Wasim Murtaza did chief damage, taking three wickets each. With 178 runs for victory, Pakistan Television lost opener Haroon Ahmed with the score on just 17. Imran Ali and Nawar Ahmed also went out in quicktime, before a double-strike of consecutive balls from Mohammad Sami left them at a precarius 102, with 76 still required. A calm 59-run partnership between Fahad-ul-Haq and Naeem Anjum ensured they got to the mark, with Anjum finishing off the chase with consecutive boundaries.

Some imposing first-innings totals resulted in the match between Pakistan International Airlines and Habib Bank Limited finishing as a stalemate. Both sides were seeking their first win after losing their respective tournament openers. It was PIA who batted first, where innings from Fahad Iqbal (52), Anop Santosh (51) and Anwar Ali (61) helped PIA to 343. Sarmad Anwar and Ehsan Adil took seven wickets between them.

Habib Bank’s innings started well, with opener Shan Masood and captain Imran Farhat adding 114 for the second wicket. Masood and No. 6 Rameez Aziz then put on 169 runs together, with Masood finally falling for 140. After Rameez was out on 78, Mohammad Aslam and Abdul Ameer were left not out as the match petered to a draw, with Habib Bank on 411 for 8.