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Naseem, Sarfaraz shine on final day as Sindh secure draw

The four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy fifth-round fixture between Central Punjab and Sindh ended in a draw at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium.

Set a target of 331, Sindh had half of their batting lineup back in the pavilion with only 68 runs on board as fast-bowler Naseem Shah continued his impressive form.

After Central Punjab had declared at 273 for five in the morning session after adding 81 runs to their overnight 192 for two, the young pacer had Sindh at 17 for one, as he bowled Abid Ali for the second time in the match, when Lunch was taken.

The 16-year-old right-arm pacer took two more wickets in the evening session as his wicket tally for the match went to nine for 111 runs.

Sindh’s fightback was led by captain Sarfaraz Ahmed. The wicketkeeper-batsman scored a 62-ball 54 before he was dismissed by Naseem.

Sarfaraz spent 75 minutes at the crease and hit seven fours.

That Sindh edged out in securing a draw against the home team also had to do with their bowler Tabish Khan, who spent 48 minutes at the crease scoring only one.

Opener Khurram Manzoor, who scored 28 runs from his 84-ball stay at the crease, was the other noticeable batsman in the innings. The right-handed batsman had cracked five fours in the 134 minutes he spent in the middle.

 With two wickets for 45 runs, spinner Zafar Gohar was the other bowler to have sent shivers down the Sindh’s camp as the left-arm spinner took the wickets of Asad Shafiq (eight) and Kashif Bhatti (0).

Earlier, Central Punjab’s Salman Butt completed his 24th first-class century after resuming his innings on 90. The left-handed opening-batsman scored 137 runs from 206 balls, hitting 20 fours.

In the sixth round of the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Central Punjab host Northern at Iqbal Stadium, while Sindh travel to Abbottabad to play Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

 Scores in brief:

 Central Punjab 313 all-out, 95.5 overs (Kamran Akmal 90, Ahmed Shehzad 60, Faheem Ashraf 52, Usman Salahuddin 38, Ehsan Adil 25; Kashif Bhatti 3-99, Mir Hamza 2-46, Sohail Khan 2-72, Tabish Khan 2-80) and 273-5, 65.5 overs (Salman Butt 137, Azhar Ali 90, Umer Akmal 24; Tabish Khan 3-65)

Sindh 256 all-out, 74.4 overs (Fawad Alam 92, Saad Ali 81, Omair Bin Yousaf 33; Naseem Shah 6-78, Ehsan Adil 2-36) and 158-8, 58 overs (Sarfaraz Ahmed 54, Khurram Manzoor 28, Saad Ali 23; Naseem Shah 3-33, Zafar Gohar 2-45)

 Match result: Drawn