Both Punjab and NWFP turned the tables on Federal Capital and Sindh respectively after the latter two had the upper hands at the end of day 1.
Federal Capital resumed their innings at the overnight score of 301-4 and were bowled out for 383 with Wahab Riaz picking up another 2 wickets to add to his 2 on day 1 and Pakistan left arm spinner, Abdul Rehman picking up 4.
The Punjab openers Salman Butt and Mohammad Hafeez then took the attack to the Capital bowlers flaying them for an opening partnership of 191 in 30 odd overs. Hafeez fell for 77 before close of play, while Salman was unbeaten on 135 that included 24 hits to the fence and 1 over it.
Salman and Hafeez, in all likelihood, will be the 2 test openers that Pakistan use against the Aussies, if that tour happens. Hafeez was dropped for the India series in favour of Yasir Hameed, who had a bad tour, while Salman has been the 1st choice for tests thus far. Hafeez has been in good form this season ending the Quaid trophy with 3 consecutive 100s including match winning tons in the semi and the final.
Sohail Tanvir was the only succesful bowler from the Federal Capital side trapping Hafeez leg before near the end of the day. Skipper Shoaib Akhtar had a disappointing outing bowling 7 wicketless overs as Salman and Hafeez made merry.
Punjab ended day 2 on 219-1 with Salman and Nasir Jamshed at the crease. With Mohd. Yousuf, Misbah, and Kamran Akmal to follow, it leaves Punjab in an ominous position.
In the other game Sindh, who had bowled out NWFP for 203, folded for a mere 149 losing 6 wickets to medium pacer Shakeel-ur-Rehman who finsihed with career best figures of 6-28. Naumanullah top scored for Sindh with 47 and Sarfraz Ahmed, the fringe wicketkeeper remained unbeaten on 34. Skipper Afridi played a typical innings of 17 with two 4s and a 6 before holing out.
In respinse the NWFP batsmen put up a much better performance than their first innings with skipper Younis Khan leading from the front with an unbeaten 68 at close of play. They ended day 2 on 146-3, 200 runs ahead of Sindh with 2 days to go. Anwar Ali took 2 of the wickets to fall with inswinging beauties catching Yasir Hameed and Riaz Kail plumb in front. The boy, who destroyed India in the U-19 WC Final in 2006 with his inswingers, looks like a very good prospect.
Sindh's young brigade - Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif, Fawad Alam, and Faisal Iqbal all disappointed with the bat with only Khalid getting into double figures. They will have to rise to the challenge to save the match for the favorites of the Pentangular.
(Note: The pic is a tribute to Ottayan and his knack of finding pics relating to the post)