Quaid-e-Azam Trophy | Kashif Bhatti’s five-fer pockets Balochistan five bowling points
Kashif Bhatti’s 21st first-class five-wicket haul helped bottom-placed Balochistan bagged crucial five bowling points on the opening day of their ninth round first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy fixture against second-ranked Northern at the UBL Sports Complex on Sunday.
The left-arm orthodox returned five for 75 in 28 overs, which included seven maidens, as Northern were bowled out for 203 in 62.1 overs.
The 34-year-old accounted for opener Sarmad Bhatti (25), Umar Amin (tw0), Mohammad Nawaz (26), Hammad Azam (one) and wicketkeeper-batsman Jamal Anwar (12).
Off-spinner Raza-ul-Hasan was the other notable wicket-taker in the innings with three for 67. Pacers Taj Wali and Gohar Faiz shared the other two wickets.
Northern were provided a 60-run opening stand by Nasir Nawaz (31) and Sarmad, after which their middle and lower-order faltered.
Ali Sarfraz, who batted at seven, posted the top-score of the innings with 38 off 62 balls.
Balochistan captain Imran Farhat scored his 72nd half-century, in reply, which had his team on 92 for no loss when stumps were drawn. The 38-year-old was unbeaten on 53 from 93 balls and had crunched nine boundaries.
He will be joined by his opening partner Ali Rafiq (29 not out) when Balochistan resume their innings on Monday. They are 111 runs behind Northern.
At the State Bank Stadium, Southern Punjab captain Umar Siddiq’s decision to elect to bowl without contesting the toss produced the desired results as Sindh were bowled out 217 in 64.4 overs.
Southern Punjab, as such, bagged five bowling points.
Six of the Sindh batsmen – Khurram Manzoor, Omair Bin Yousuf, Asad Shafiq, Tabish Khan, Mohammad Asghar and Shahnawaz Dhani – were dismissed for ducks as Aamer Yamin, Zia-ul-Haq and Zahid Mahmood took three wickets each.
Century from wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Hasan and a half-century from Saad Ali were the only notable resistance in the innings as the pair stitched 173 runs for the sixth wicket.
Hasan made 111 runs from 140 balls and smashed 17 fours, while Saad’s 174-ball 79 included 10 fours.
Southern Punjab were 176 runs behind after they had managed 41 for one in 17.4 overs before the close of play. Their captain Umar (14) paired with Zain Abbas (25 not out) before he was dismissed by Shahnawaz.
Half-centuries from Usman Salahuddin, Mohammad Saad and Saad Nasim had Central Punjab placed at a comfortable 267 for five against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the National Stadium.
Following Hasan Ali’s decision to elect to bat after winning the toss, Central Punjab found themselves in a spot of bother as both their openers were sent back to the pavilion without being allowed to open their accounts.
A gutsy 106-run alliance for the third wicket between Usman (53 off 128, four fours) and Mohammad Saad (78 off 176, seven fours and a six) pushed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s bowlers on the backfoot.
This was Usman’s 48th and Saad’s 27th half-century.
Saad Nasim’s fighting 81 not out further consolidated Central Punjab’s position in the match. The middle-order batsman had smashed seven fours and three sixes from the 132 balls he had faced.
Defending champions Central Punjab are positioned fourth on the points table, which is led by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Match Summaries and Scores in brief (day one of four):
At UBL Sports Complex, Northern elected to bat against Balochistan
Northern 203 all out, 62.1 overs (Ali Sarfraz 38, Nasir Nawaz 31, Mohammad Nawaz 26, Waqas Ahmed 26, Sarmad Bhatti 25, Mubasir Khan 25; Kashif Bhatti 5-75, Raza-ul-Hasan 3-67)
Balochistan 92-0, 27 overs (Imran Farhat 53 not out, Ali Rafiq 29 not out)
Points to date: Northern 1, Balochistan 5
At State Bank Stadium, Southern Punjab elected to bowl (toss uncontested) against Sindh
Sindh 217 all out, 64.4 overs (Mohammad Hasan 111, Saad Ali 79; Aamer Yamin 3-31, Zahid Mahmood 3-49, Zia-ul-Haq 3-63)
Southern Punjab 41-1, 17.4 overs (Zain Abbas 25 not out; Shahnawaz Dhani 1-6)
Points to date: Sindh 1, Southern Punjab 5
At National Stadium, Central Punjab elected to bat against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Central Punjab 267-5, 90 overs (Saad Nasim 81 not out, Mohammad Saad 78, Usman Salahuddin 53, Qasim Akram 25, Ali Shan 24 not out)
Points to date: Central Punjab 2, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 1