KARACHI - Water and Power Development Authority completed an emphatic 213-run victory over Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited. WAPDA batted first, putting up a strong first innings total of 311, led by Aamer Sajjad (81) and Adnan Raees (68). Imran Khan was the pick of the bowlers with 5 for 70, and was ably supported by Zafar Gohar's 3 for 60. ZTBL's reply was rather flat as they only scored 185, with Naved-ul-Hasan doing the most damage with 4 for 28. Only Yasir Hameed stood out with his score of 70.
WAPDA then added 237 in their second innings, with Mohammad Ayub leading the way with 64. This created a target of 364 for ZTBL, and it was vital that the top order provided useful starts. However, this would not be the case as Sharjeel Khan and Imran Nazir were the only batsmen to hit fifties as ZTBL folded for just 150, with each of the WAPDA bowlers taking at least one wicket.
State Bank of Pakistan completed a 133-run victory over Habib Bank Limited in Islamabad. After opting to bat, SBP put on 226, thanks largely to fifties from Raheel Majeed and Usman Saeed. Ehsan Adil and Sarmad Anwar were the pick of the Habib Bank bowlers, taking 5 for 53 and 3 for 37 respectively. In an almost carbon copy of the previous innings, Habib Bank also posted 226 in their first innings, with Hasan Raza (45), Rameez Aziz (43) and Adil (40) leading the way. Saad Altaf took a five-for as things remained even stevens.
SBP put on a sizable 293 in their second innings, with Rizwan Haider's 60 the top score. Sarmad took 4 for 80 and was ably supported by Mohammad Aslam's 3 for 50. With 294 to chase, Habib Bank looked in trouble as they lost both their openers for just 8 runs. The middle order simply did not capitalise on their starts as Tabish Khan ran through the order with 5 for 67. Mohammad Naved also chipped in by taking 3 for 46. Ultimately Habib Bank put on just 160 as they lost by 133 runs. National Bank of Pakistan kicked off their President's Trophy campaign with a seven-wicket win over Pakistan International Airlines in Sialkot. After being put into bat, PIA posted 135 in their first innings as Hammad Azam and Zia-ul-Haq ran through the order, picking up four and three wickets respectively.
Despite losing opener Anwaar Hafeez inside the first over, Sami Aslam (109) and Kamran Akmal (53) ensured NBP did not make the same mistakes as they scored 278. Shoaib Malik was the pick of the PIA bowlers with 5 for 78. Facing a 143-run deficit, PIA did their best to run up a big total, but faltered as NBP's bowlers, led by Adnan Rasool's 4 for 64, restricted them to 218 in the second innings. Only Malik and Rafaiy Safdar posted fifties in the second innings for PIA. With just 76 to chase, NBP did the needful in almost 19 overs with seven wickets to spare.
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited began their title defence well, beating Port Qasim Authority by five runs in Rawalpindi. SNGPL opted to bat first, but lost wickets at regular intervals and were restricted to 178 by PQA's bowlers, led by Abdur Rauf's 5 for 52. PQA's openers put on 34 but the rest of their batsmen struggled to make meaningful contributions. Imran Ali led SNGPL's charge, taking 8 for 42 as PQA were skittled for 132. With a slight lead of 46 runs, it was imperative SNGPL put on a strong total to build a sizeable lead.
However, the PQA bowlers reduced SNGPL to 33 for 4 early on, with each of the bowlers chipping in. Only Ali Waqas and Khurram Shehzad posted over 30 runs, as Mohammad Talha and Mohammad Sami picked up 4 for 26 and 3 for 26 respectively to dismiss SNGPL for 110. Chasing 157, Imran Ali's 5 for 55 quickly decimated the PQA batsmen. PQA were still in sight of victory at 138 for 8, needing another 19 runs, but Sohail Khan's wicket on 151 meant they fell just five runs short of the target.
Khan Research Laboratories beat Pakistan Television by six wickets to register an opening win in the competition. Pakistan Television batted first and only put on 125, with Sadaf Hussain (5 for 36) doing most damage, ably supported by Yasir Arafat's 3 for 57. In reply, KRL put on 159, boosted by Umaid Asif's counter-attacking 47 off 57 balls. Rizwan Akbar starred with the ball for PTV, taking 5 for 47, and Waqar Ahmed chipped in with 3 for 40.
Imran Ali and Haroon Ahmed put on a better show in the second innings for PTV, adding 91 for the first wicket. Unfortunately, apart from Rizwan Ahmed's 74, the rest of the batting folded without posting meaningful scores. PTV lost wickets in clusters during several points in the innings, with four wickets falling for just 10 runs towards the end. Facing a chase of 200 runs, KRL approached the target without too much hindrance. Saeed Anwar jnr's 74 and Usman Salahuddin's unbeaten 62 helped KRL reach the total within 42 overs.