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Quaid-e-Azam Trophy: Nawaz, Faizan score centuries for Northern against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Mohammad Nawaz and Faizan Riaz scored brilliant centuries for Northern on the opening day of their team’s fifth round contest against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the National Stadium on Thursday.

Northern sat at a comfortable 371 for five at the close of play thanks to a solid 219-run alliance for the fourth wicket between the two.

Nawaz crunched 15 fours and two sixes as he scored 121 from 146. His century followed two half-centuries in as many innings as the all-rounder was dismissed on 67 and 95 in his side’s fourth round fixture against Balochistan, which ended in a draw.

He joined Faizan, who was unbeaten on 124, after Lunch when Northern were 102 for three.

Faizan, the 32-year-old right-handed batsman, smashed 16 fours and a six on way to his 10th century at this level. The Islamabad-born has faced 162 balls to date and will be joined by Asif Ali when play resumes on Friday.

Earlier, opener Nasir Nawaz provided a solid platform to Northern after his captain Nauman Ali elected to bat. Nasir made a 72-ball 68, which included 11 fours and three sixes, and knitted a 90-run opening stand with Sarmad Bhatti, who was dismissed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain Khalid Usman on 24.

The players, support staff match officials and broadcasters, along with the PCB officials, donned white ribbons to play their part for the eradication of violence against women as part of the White Ribbon campaign.

Off-spinner Sajid Khan, the leading wicket-taker in the ongoing season, accounted for two Northern batsmen – Nasir and Umar Amin. Arshad Iqbal and Zohaib Khan took a wicket each.

By the virtue of crossing the 350-run barrier inside the 100 overs, Northern, to date, have gathered four points, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who entered this contest after a five-wicket win over Central Punjab, have gained one point.

Akbar-ur-Rehman’s scintillating 155 not out lifted Balochistan to 333 for three in 87 overs after Sindh captain Asad Shafiq elected to bowl at the State Bank Stadium.

After coming into bat at 88 for two, Akbar smashed 12 fours and four sixes from the 194 balls he had faced until the stumps were drawn.

He was joined by Ayaz Tasawar, who was unbeaten on 67. Ayaz had dispatched seven of the 153 balls towards the boundary.

Sindh’s Shahnawaz Dhani and Abrar Ahmed were amongst the wicket-takers as they picked up a wicket each, while Ali Waqas, who scored 46, was run out.

At the UBL Sports Complex, Southern Punjab were 272 for five in 88.2 overs against Central Punjab after Zain Abbas, Umar Siddiq and Salman Ali Agha scored half-centuries.

Zain Abbas, who made 95 and 42 in the previous round after earning a promotion from the Second XI team, stitched an 88-run stand for the second wicket with his captain Umar after Southern Punjab lost their first wicket on 25.

Zain scored 69 from 118 balls, studded with 11 fours and a six.

Umar, the wicketkeeper-batsman, missed out on what would have been his 13th first-class century as he was dismissed by pacer Waqas Maqsood on 94.

Umar struck 11 fours over the course of his 232-ball stay at the crease.

Salman was unbeaten on 62 at the close of play and he will be joined by Muhammad Imran (three not out) when the play resumes tomorrow morning. Salman has struck eight fours and a six from the 93 balls he has faced to date. This is his third half-century of the season.

Central Punjab’s pacer Waqas and spinner Ahmed Safi Abdullah dismissed two batsmen each.

Scores in brief:

At National Stadium, Northern chose to bat:

Northern 371-5, 87 overs (Faizan Riaz 124 not out, Mohammad Nawaz 121, Nasir Nawaz 68, Sarmad Bhatti 24; Sajid Khan 2-98)

Points to date: Northern 4, Central Punjab 1

At State Bank Stadium, Sindh elected to bowl:

Balochistan 333-3, 87 overs (Akbar-ur-Rehman 155 not out, Ayaz Tasawar 67 not out, Ali Waqas 46, Imran Farhat 33, Azeem Ghumman 22)

Points to date: Balochistan 3, Sindh 1

At UBL Sports Complex, Southern Punjab chose to bat:

Southern Punjab 272-5, 88.2 overs (Umar Siddiq 94, Zain Abbas 69, Salman Ali Agha 62 not out, Saif Badar 22; Waqas Maqsood 2-42, Ahmed Safi Abdullah 2-62)

Points to date: Southern Punjab 2, Central Punjab 1