Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Round 8, Day 3: Northern reignite final hopes with innings win over Sindh
Northern recorded their second successive victory of the season to ensure that they stay in the hunt for a place in the final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2021-22.
Placed fifth before the start of the ongoing eight-round, Northern defeated the table-toppers heading into the round Sindh, inside three days.
All three matches are set to provide results with both Central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa favourites to attain their fourth innings targets tomorrow (day-four).
Northern bowlers were on song on day-three as they sent Sindh packing for 182 in 58.3 overs in their second innings to register a comprehensive innings and 39-run victory at the UBL Sports Complex.
Resuming at the overnight 105 for one, Sindh folded for the addition of a mere 77 runs with pacer Ather Mahmood taking four wickets in the second innings to follow his first innings four-for. Ather’s new-ball partner Kashif Ali took three while Zaid Alam took two wickets.
Omair-Bin-Yousuf with 52 runs was the top-scorer for Sindh in what was otherwise a disappointing batting performance.
Northern who registered their second successive victory of the tournament are set to break into the top three on the points table after their resounding win as they earned a total of 23 points from the match. Sindh who were at the top of the table before the round began could only muster three points.
Over at the State Bank of Pakistan Stadium in the match between Southern Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which is being live streamed on PCB’s YouTube channel, Southern Punjab scored 334 runs in their second innings after resuming at 40 for no loss to set Khyber Pakhtunkhwa a 220-run target for the fourth and final day.
Umar Siddiq who opened the innings, top-scored with 92 off 176 balls (15 fours). Umar added 121 runs for the third-wicket with Salman Ali Agha who like Umar also fell in the nervous nineties. The right-handed Salman hit 14 fours in his 90 off 131 balls.
All-rounder Muhammad Imran who scored a fighting fifty in the first innings made a valuable 48-run contribution in the second innings.
Pacers Irfanullah Shah and Sameen Gul took four and three wickets for 68 and 98 runs respectively. Skipper Asif Afridi took two wickets.
Both teams will be vying for crucial victory points on the fourth day as the game is in the grasp of both which promises and intriguing day of cricket.
Over at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex, resuming at the overnight score of 178 for five, Central Punjab were rolled over for 262 in 98.5 overs with Kashif taking seven wickets for 85 runs. The left-arm-spinner collected the 23rd five-wicket haul of his first-class career in his marathon 40-over spell.
Central Punjab who conceded a 63-run first innings lead, only reached 262 courtesy fighting contributions of 44 by Saif Badar and 42 not out by Zafar Gohar.
Balochistan were then dismissed for a paltry 148 in 33.2 overs in their second innings with pacer Muhammad Ali doing major damage by taking five wickets for 50 runs in 11 overs. The right-armer found good support from Zafar Gohar with the left-arm-spinner following up on his first innings five-for with two wickets.
Gohar Faiz with 36 was the top run-getter for Balochistan while captain Bismillah Khan and Umar Akmal scored 27 runs each.
A total of 16 wickets fell in the day as Central Punjab were 62 for one when stumps were drawn for the day. They need another 150 runs tomorrow to register a much-needed victory which will keep alive their hopes of their title defence.
Scores in brief
Sindh 98 for 9 declared, 31 overs (Omair Bin Yousuf 33, Mir Hamza 18 not out; Ather Mahmood 4-23, Kashif Ali 3-42) and 182 all out, 58.3 overs (Omair Bin Yousuf 52, Ahsan Ali 44; Ather Mahmood 4-63, Kashif Ali 3-55)
Northern 319 all out, 100.1 overs (Sarmad Bhatti 145, Umar Amin 75; Tabish Khan 5-55, Sohail Khan 3-61)
Match points: Sindh – three, Northern – 23
Southern Punjab 166 for 9, 57.1 overs (Muhammad Imran 64, Yousuf Babar 28, Tayyab Tahir 26; Arshad Iqbal 4-41, Asif Afridi 2-36) and 40 for no loss, 12 overs.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 281 all out, 89.2 overs (Arshad Iqbal 62, Sahibzada Farhan 60; Muhammad Ilyas 4-71, Salman Ali Agha 3-32, Aamer Yamin 3-54)
Points so far: Southern Punjab – four, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - five.
Balochistan 325 all out, 104.4 overs (Shan Masood 102, Imran Butt 65, Kashif Bhatti 53; Zafar Gohar 5-126) and 148 all out, 33.2 overs (Gohar Faiz 36, Bismillah Khan 27, Umar Akmal 27; Muhammad Ali 5-50, Zafar Gohar 2-43)
Central Punjab 262 all out, 98.5 overs (Rizwan Hussain 50, Ali Zaryab 48, Saif Badar 44; Kashif Bhatti 7-85, Raza-ul-Hasan 2-99) and 62 for 1, 18 overs.
Points so far: Balochistan - seven, Central Punjab - five.