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Quaid-e-Azam Trophy: Nauman Ali first to reach 50-wicket mark

Northern’s left-arm spinner Nauman Ali registered his 17th career five-fer, fast bowler Aamer Yamin of Southern Punjab recorded his seventh five-fer in his 50th first-class match and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s top-order batsman Kamran Ghulam stroked an unbeaten century as first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy seventh round fixtures entered into an interesting phase after second day’s play on Wednesday.

34-year-old Nauman returned figures of 24-3-84-7 to help Northern dismiss Central Punjab for 234 and grab a slender but a confidence-boosting nine runs first innings lead. When play ended at the UBL Sports Complex, Northern had reached 77 for two in their second outing to extend their advantage to 86 runs.

Central Punjab, replying to Northern’s 243, were comfortably placed at 150 for three, before Nauman ran riot to spin out the middle and lower-order as he turned almost unplayable. By virtue of claiming seven wickets, Nauman became the first bowler to take 50 wickets in the season.

For Central Punjab, openers Muhammad Akhlaq and Ali Zaryab were the notable run-scorers. Akhlaq scored 67 with seven fours and two sixes from 121 balls, while Ali contributed 45 off 122 balls with six fours.

In front of the broadcast cameras at the National Stadium, Aamir Yamin celebrated his 50th first-class match with figures of 14-3-47-6 as Balochistan were bundled out for 164 in reply to Southern Punjab’s 256.

After securing 92-run first innings lead, Southern Punjab had put a stranglehold over Balochistan by reaching 149 for two at the close of play. Imran Rafiq (60) and Saif Badar (41) will resume Southern Punjab’s second innings on Thursday.

30-year-old Aamir Yamin, who had taken three of the four Balochistan wickets to fall in the short final session on Tuesday, continued to maintain his nagging line and length. He was well supported by the fielders who enabled him to secure his seventh five-fer since making his debut 11 years ago.

Balochistan, who had resumed the day at the overnight score of 16 for four, were rescued by left-handed Ayaz Tasawar, whose gutsy and fighting knock was ended by a beauty from wrist spinner Zahid Mahmood. No.7 batsman Ayaz scored 76 that came off 97 balls and included 10 fours and a six.

Together with Bismillah Khan (24), Ayaz added 48 runs for the seventh wicket after Balochistan had plunged to 65 for six and then added 31 priceless runs for the ninth wicket with Jalat Khan (20).

25-year-old Kamran Ghulam stroked his sixth first-class century to help Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reach 260 for four in reply to Sindh’s 229 at the State Bank Stadium.

Kamran has struck 13 fours to date in a 241-ball innings and has added 50 runs for the unfinished fifth wicket with Rehan Afridi (30 not out). Prior to this, Kamran had put on 143 runs for the third wicket with Fakhar Zaman (62, 8x4, 139b) after his side was in some bother at 20 for two.

Scores in brief (day two of four, round seven)

At UBL Sports Complex, Northern won the toss against Central Punjab and elected to bat first

Northern 243 all out, 57 overs (Asif Ali 72, Mohammad Nawaz 50, Hammad Azam 47, Umar Amin 29; Hasan Ali 4-48, Bilawal Iqbal 3-91, Ahmed Safi Abdullah 2-31) and 77-2 (Nasir Nawaz 42)

Central Punjab 234 all out, 81 overs (Muhammad Akhlaq 67, Ali Zaryab 45, Qasim Akram 31, Saad Nasim 30; Nauman Ali 7-84)

First innings points: Northern 6 (1 batting, 5 bowling), Central Punjab 6 (1 batting, 5 bowling)

At the National Stadium, Southern Punjab won the toss and elected to bat first against Balochistan

Southern Punjab 256 all out, 79.5 overs (Salman Ali Agha 50, Zahid Mahmood 45, Zain Abbas 40, Saif Badar 24, Mohammad Imran 24; Taj Wali 3-66, Umaid Asif 2-35, Jalat Khan 2-64, Kashif Bhatti 2-90) and 149-2 (Imran Rafiq 60 not out, Saif Badar 41 not out)

Balochistan 164 all out, 41.4 overs (Ayaz Tasawar 76, Bismillah Khan 24, Jalat Khan 20; Aamer Yamin 6-47, Mohammad Ilyas 2-53)

First innings points: Southern Punjab 8 (two batting, six bowling), Balochistan 4 (all bowling)

At State Bank Stadium, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elected to bowl (toss uncontested) against Sindh

Sindh 229 all out, 81.2 overs (Asad Shafiq 60, Sharjeel Khan 57; Irfanullah Shah 5-33, Sajid Khan 3-66)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 260-4, 86.2 overs (Kamran Ghulam 124 not out, Fakhar Zaman 62, Rehan Afridi 30 not out; Tabish Khan 2-51)

Points to date: Sindh 2 (1 batting, 1 bowling), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 7 (2 batting, 5 bowling)

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