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Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Round 6, Day 1: Ahsan scores century as Sindh dominate Balochistan

Abrar Ahmed’s maiden five-wicket first-class
Abrar Ahmed’s maiden five-wicket first-class

Sindh took complete control of their Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2021-22 sixth-round clash against Balochistan on day-one of the four-day fixture at the UBL Sports Complex, Karachi.

After rolling over Balochistan for 96 courtesy leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed’s maiden five-wicket first-class haul and pacer Sohail Khan’s four-fer, Sindh openers Ahsan Ali (119 not out) and Khurram Manzoor (94) added 199 runs for the first-wicket to all but end Balochistan’s hopes of a comeback in the match.

Sindh won the toss and opted to bowl first against Balochistan at the UBL Sports Complex, Balochistan got off to a poor start as Sindh bowlers dominated the first session. Lunch was taken with Balochistan placed at 67 for four.

Fast bowler Sohail Khan made the inroads before lunch and it was the Abrar show post-lunch as Balochistan were sent packing for 96. Captain Imran Butt (33) was the only Balochistan batter to offer some resistance.

Abrar finished with a five-wicket haul conceding 23 runs in 5.5 overs as Balochistan lost their last six wickets for 19 runs. Sohail took four wickets for 26 runs from his nine overs. Sindh collected the full (six) bowling points on offer.

In reply, Khurram Manzoor and Ahsan took the Balochistan bowlers to the cleaners with a dashing 199-run first-wicket stand. Khurram hit 12 fours and three sixes in his 94 off 129 balls before falling to spinner Jalat Khan.

Ahsan who has already scored a triple-century this season, posted the fifth century of his first-class career. The 27-year-old was unbeaten on 119 off 131 balls (19 fours) when stumps were drawn for the day. Ahsan will resume his innings tomorrow in company of Omair Bin Yousuf who is batting on 15, Sindh have already accumulated a 133-run first innings lead.

Meanwhile, the blazing Khurram-Ahsan partnership has already ensured at least one batting point for Sindh.

The toss was uncontested at the State Bank of Pakistan Stadium in the Punjab derby between Central and Southern Punjab.

Southern Punjab got off to a shaky start and took lunch at 53 for two with pacer Waqas Maqsood taking the two wickets to fall in the first session with only 15 runs on the board.

Opener Umar Siddiq and Salman Ali Agha held the innings together in the first two session adding 133 runs for the third-wicket. Salman scored 61 off 141 balls with the help of five fours. The left-handed Umar contributed 85 off 187 balls (11 fours, one six). After their departure, the floodgates opened as Southern Punjab lost wickets at regular intervals to fold for 228 in 77 overs.

Wicketkeeper Azam Khan scored 23, for Central Punjab Waqas finished with four wickets for 52 runs while pacer Muhammad Ali took four for 57 in 18 overs.

Southern Punjab collected one first innings batting point while Southern Punjab gained five points for bowling out Central Punjab cheaply with-in the 100 over mark.

Central Punjab were zero for no loss when stumps were drawn for the day.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa opted to bowl after an uncontested toss at the NBP Sports Complex against Northern.

Northern were rocked early in their innings and took lunch at 64 for four, Arshad Iqbal took two of the four wickets to fall in the opening session.

Northern youngsters Mohammad Huraira and Mubasir Khan led their side’s fight back with an 83-run fifth-wicket stand. Huraira who opened the innings scored 70 off 139 balls with the help of 11 fours before his unfortunate dismissal via a run out.

Mubasir who scored a century on his first-class debut in the last edition of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy fell four short of his century. The right-hander 96 off 174 balls, striking 14 fours in his outstanding innings.

Northern were bowled out for 250 in 83.4 overs, they earned two batting points for posting 250 in their first innings while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa five bowling points.

At close, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were zero without loss in their first innings.

Scores in brief

Balochistan vs Sindh – UBL Sports Complex, Karachi

Balochistan 96 all out, 31.5 overs (Imran Butt 33; Abrar Ahmed 5-23, Sohail Khan 4-26)

Sindh 229 for 1, 50 overs (Ahsan Ali 119 not out, Khurram Manzoor 94; Jalat Khan 1-49)

Points so far: Sindh seven, Balochistan zero.

Southern Punjab vs Central Punjab –State Bank of Pakistan Stadium, Karachi

Southern Punjab 228 all out, 77 overs (Umar Siddiq 85, Salman Ali Agha 61, Waqas Maqsood 4-52, Muhammad Ali 4-57)

Central Punjab 0/0, 0.4 overs

Points so far: Central Punjab five, Southern Punjab one.

Northern vs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – NBP Sports Complex, Karachi

Northern 250 all out, 83.4 overs (Mubasir Khan 96, Muhammad Huraira 70; Arshad Iqbal 2-38, Sameen Gul 2-41)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 0/0, 0.3 overs

Points so far: Northern two, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa five.