Balochistan on top after Azeem and Imran hit centuries
It was a run-fest at the Bugti Stadium as Balochistan amassed 347 runs for the loss of four wickets against Southern Punjab on the opening day of their second four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match.
Balochistan 347-4, 84 overs (Azeem Ghumman 143 not out, Imran Farhat 117, Imran Butt 66; Bilawal Bhatti 2-65, Mohammad Irfan 2-71)
Southern Punjab – still to bat
Visiting captain Shan Masood would be ruing his decision to bowl first, without contesting the toss, after watching the home team finish Saturday’s play in a commanding position.
Centuries by opening batsman Azeem Ghumman and captain Imran Farhat shaped the day for the hosts as the pair stitched a 181-run stand for the third-wicket after slow left-arm Mohammad Irfan struck twice in an over to reduce Balochistan to 129 for two with the wickets of the opener Imran Butt (66) and Abu Bakar (0).
Imran Farhat, in particular, was in a menacing mood as he raced to his 35th first-class century. The 37-year-old left-handed batsman blasted 17 boundaries in his 118-ball 117 after occupying the crease for 183 minutes.
While his captain was going great guns at the other end, Azeem, not out on 143, went about his business steadily to complete his 10th century at this level. The 28-year-old right-hander has to date hit 14 fours in 253 deliveries during a 390-minute stay at the wicket. He was joined by Bismillah Khan (4 not out) when the stumps were drawn.
Balochistan’s four wickets were equally shared by Irfan and paceman Bilawal Bhatti.
The second day’s play at Quetta’s Bugti Stadium, which is hosting first-class cricket after a long gap of 11 years, will commence on Sunday at 10am.
©Cricket World 2019