Shoaib Ma­lik 94 takes PIA to vic­tory

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

LAHORE

An un­beaten 94 by mid­dle­order bats­man Shoaib Ma­lik took Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines (PIA) to a six-wicket win against Habib Bank Lim­ited in Sialkot. Chas­ing 176 to win, they were in trou­ble at 13 for 3, but Ma­lik put on an 84-run part­ner­ship with opener She­hzar Mo­ham­mad, and fol­lowed it up with a 79run stand with An­war Ali to achieve the tar­get. Af­ter con­ced­ing a 28-run deficit in the first in­nings, PIA's bowlers, led by seamer Na­jaf Shah, bowled Habib Bank out for 147 to give their bats­men a fair chance of win­ning the match.

Af­ter choos­ing to bat, Habib Bank strug­gled to find mo­men­tum in their in­nings, largely due to fast bowlers Aizaz Cheema and An­war Ali, who took seven wick­ets be­tween them. Opener Shan Masood's 42 was their high­est score as they were bowled out for 200. But Fa­had Masood, by tak­ing 6 for 33, brought them back into the con­test, and helped re­strict PIA to 172. Even that mea­gre to­tal was reached af­ter half-cen­turies from Ma­lik and wick­et­keeper Sar­fraz Ahmed, who put on 90 runs for the sixth wicket.

Habib Bank's No. 3 Aftab Alam scored a half­cen­tury in the sec­ond in­nings but he was the only one who pro­vided some re­sis­tance as Shah and Cheema ran through their lineup. The tar­get didn't look likely to be over­hauled when Masood shook PIA's top or­der, but Ma­lik took them to vic­tory. Faisal Iqbal had a poor game with the bat, scor­ing nine runs.

In Faisal­abad, a strong first-in­nings bat­ting per­for­mance by Khan Re­search Lab­o­ra­to­ries (KRL), which helped them gain a 123-run lead against State Bank of Pak­istan (SBP), took them to three points af­ter the game was drawn. Mid­dle-or­der bats­man Yasir Arafat led KRL's first in­nings, with a pa­tient 80, as they scored 311. SBP kept los­ing wick­ets reg­u­larly in re­ply, and were strug­gling at 107 for 8 be­fore mid­dle-or­der bats­man Mo­htashim Ali and No. 10 Hasan Mah­mood helped them reach 188. Left-arm spin­ner Nau­man Ali was the chief wrecker with four wick­ets. Half-cen­turies from opener Zain Ab­bas and Saeed An­war jnr. led KRL's sec­ond-in­nings ef­fort be­fore they de­clared at 183 for 5, at the end of the third day. Chas­ing 307, SBP open­ers be­gan pos­i­tively, putting on 103 for the first wicket. There was a brief stut­ter when three wick­ets fell for 15 runs, but opener Far­rukh She­hzad and No. 6 Usman Saeed took them to safety, and match was called a draw af­ter 73 overs.

—PLUS NEWS

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