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Quaid-e-Azam Trophy: Northern dominate title defenders, Sarfaraz Ahmed records 12th first-class ton

Northern continued to dominate Central Punjab in their second round fixture of the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, being played at the National Bank Sports Complex, and took their bonus points’ tally to 10 after adding four batting points on Sunday.

 

The title defenders were 64 for two in their second innings at the close of play with a 131-run trail to surmount. Their captain Azhar Ali was not out on 24 and he will be joined by Usman Salahuddin (seven not out) when the play resumes on Monday.

Resuming the day at 116 for three, Northern posted an imposing 354 all out in 100 overs thanks to half-centuries from Umar Amin, Asif Ali and Hammad Azam. 

Umar and Asif were instrumental in helping Northern reach a comfortable position as they added 96 runs – 46 of which came on the second day’s play – for the fourth wicket partnership.

After resuming his innings on 26, Umar missed out on the century by six runs as he was dismissed by Ahmed Safi Abdullah, the star performer with the ball for Central Punjab with five for 106. Umar struck 11 fours and a six in his 181-ball stay at the crease.

Asif, Umar’s overnight partner, recorded his career’s fourth first-class half-century with a 90-ball 65. The 29-year-old struck nine fours and a six.

Following the contributions from Umar and Asif, Northern’s position was further consolidated with a 56 from all-rounder Hammad Azam. The 29-year-old’s 24th first-class half-century was studded with three sixes and four fours.

Ahmed Shehzad scored 27 when Central Punjab came out to bat for the second time in the match. The right-handed opener was dismissed by Northern captain Nauman Ali, who picked up four wickets on day one of the match. Ali Zaryab (0) fell to Athar Mehmood.

Sindh captain Sarfaraz Ahmed recorded his 12th first-class century with an unbeaten 131 against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the UBL Sports Complex. The wicketkeeper-batsman dispatched eight off the 232 balls he faced towards the boundary after resuming the day at 68 to put his team in a commanding position.

Sindh had begun the proceedings at 245-6 and added 23 more runs, at the loss of a wicket, by 100 overs. As such, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa both pocketed two bonus points for batting and bowling respectively. They were 361 all out from 127.5 overs.

Khalid Usman’s slow-left arm orthodox accounted for two more scalps on Sunday as he finished the innings with three for 108.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were 136 for four in 50 overs before close of play as opener Israrullah anchored their reply for the most part of the day.

The 30-year-old Peshawar-born stroked his way to his 26th half-century in the format. His 124-ball 67 included a crucial 63-run second wicket partnership with his captain Ashfaq Ahmed (18) after Sahibzada Farhan (three) was removed by Tabish Khan with only seven runs on the board.

Israrullah fell to Sohail Khan, while the other two wickets were taken by off-spinner Ashiq Ali. Sindh added one more bonus points – by the virtue of dismissing three or more batsmen inside 100 overs.

With six wickets in hand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have a 225-run trail to surmount when the third day’s play begins on Monday.

In the broadcast match being played at the National Stadium, Southern Punjab were 245 for five in 67 overs when stumps were drawn in reply of Balochistan’s 372 all out.

Southern Punjab were provided a solid start as their captain Shan Masood followed-up on his century at the National Bank Sports Complex with a 73-ball 62, which included seven fours.

Shan stitched an 80-run stand for the second wicket with Hussain Talat, who scored 39 off 52 before he was trapped in front by Balochistan captain Yasir Shah.

The leg-spinner dismissed Saif Badar (17) and wicketkeeper-batsman Umar Siddiq (47) which at one stage had Southern Punjab wobbling at 157 for four.

With an unbeaten 52 off 92 balls, Salman Ali Agha led the fightback and he will resume the innings along with Imran Rafiq, who is not out on 20.

The pair has added 52 runs for the unfinished sixth wicket together and the Southern Punjab fans will be pinning their hopes on them to stretch their partnership into triple digits.

Balochistan to date have pocketed one bowling point, which takes their tally of first innings bonus points to five.

Earlier in the day, Balochistan added 60 runs for the loss in three wickets in 18.3 overs after resuming the day at 297-6 to bag four bonus points for batting.

Taimur Ali, who graduated to first XI this year after turning out for Balochistan’s second XI 2019-20 season, anchored the innings as he added 45 runs to his overnight score. The Dera Murad Jamali-born scored 86 not out from 168 balls, which included 10 fours and a six.

Imran Farhat, who had retired hurt on 100 last day, could add 16 more runs before he became Dilbar Hussain’s maiden first-class wicket.

Leg-spinner Zahid Mehmood finished with three for 101 as he added one more wicket to his tally (Amad Butt 21 off 36).

 

Match summaries and scores in brief:

 

At National Bank Sports Complex, Northern elected to bowl (toss uncontested):

Central Punjab 159 all out, 56.2 overs (Ali Zaryab 78, Qasim Akram 25; Nauman Ali 4-55, Raza Hasan 3-37, Waqas Ahmed 2-35) and 64-2, 21 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 27, Azhar Ali 24 not out)

Northern 354 all out, 100 overs (Umar Amin 94, Asif Ali 65, Hammad Azam 56, Umair Masood 36, Sarmad Bhatti 36, Raza Hasan 24; Ahmed Safi Abdullah 5-106, Hasan Ali 2-36)

Points to date: Central Punjab 3, Northern 10

SCORECARD

 

At UBL Sports Complex, Sindh won the toss and chose to bat:

 Sindh 361 all out, 127.5 overs (Sarfaraz Ahmed 131 not out, Fawad Alam 91, Saud Shakeel 38, Asad Shafiq 26, Ashiq Ali 24; Khalid Usman 3-108, Sajid Khan 2-132)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 136-4, 50 overs (Israrullah 67, Adil Amin 25; Ashiq Ali 2-36)

Points to date: Sindh 3, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 2

SCORECARD

 

At National Stadium, Southern Punjab elected to bowl (toss uncontested):

Balochistan 372 all out, 104.3 overs (Imran Farhat 116, Imran Butt 92, Taimur Ali 86 not out, Amad Butt 21; Zahid Mehmood 3-101, Mohammad Ilyas 2-60)

 Southern Punjab 245-5, 67 overs (Shan Masood 62, Salman Ali Agha 52 not out,  Umar Siddiq 47, Hussain Talat 39; Yasir Shah 3-90)

 Points to date: Balochistan 5, Southern Punjab 4

SCORECARD