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Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Round 9, Day 1: 22 wickets fall on day one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Balochistan clash

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa celebrate
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa celebrate

Bowlers dominated day-one of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2021-22 round-nine matches which started across three Karachi venues today.

The ninth-round is crucial for the top four teams Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Northern and Central Punjab who are fighting for the two December 25-29 final spots while fifth placed Southern Punjab still have an outside chance of snatching a final spot if they win their ninth and tenth round matches.

On Monday, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were rolled over for 116 after they were asked to bat first by Balochistan at the UBL Sports Complex. Balochistan bowlers Taj Wali and Kashif Bhatti ran through the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa batting on a pitch that offered early help to the bowlers.

The left-arm pacer Taj took four wickets for 19 while left-arm-spinner Kashif Bhatti grabbed four wickets for 20 runs. Kamran Ghulam top-scored with 35 while Sajid Khan who was adjudged the player of the match for Pakistan in the Dhaka Test last week, contributed 25 not out.

Balochistan had to endure an even worse stint with the bat as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bowlers shot them out for 100 in a mere 26 overs with pacer Arshad Iqbal taking four wickets. Asif Afridi, Sameen Gul and Imran Khan Snr took two wickets apiece. Despite their 116-run total Khyber Pakhtunkhwa collected a 16-run first innings lead.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had to endure another torrid start as they finished day-one at 17 for two in their second innings.

Over at the State Bank of Pakistan Stadium in the match between Sindh and Central Punjab which is being live streamed on PCB’s YouTube channel, table-toppers Sindh were restricted to a first innings score of 155 for nine (declared) by Central Punjab who opted to bowl first in an uncontested toss.

Fast bowler Sohail Khan lifted the side to some semblance of respectability with a fighting 65 off 91 balls (nine fours, two sixes). This was Sohail’s fifth first-class fifty, the right-hander helped his side get past the 150-run mark. Fawad Alam scored 32. Seamers Muhammad Ali and Muhammad Saad took three wickets apiece for Central Punjab.

Central Punjab were 78 for three at close of play, they will be relying on in-form Abid Ali who was unbeaten on 45 when stumps were drawn for the day. Abid, was the player of the match in the Pakistan-Bangladesh Test series.

Salman Ali Agha fought singlehandedly for Southern Punjab with a splendid 142 as the side was bowled out for 238 in their first innings at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex against Northern.  

Salman hit 23 fours and one six in his sterling 193-ball effort, this was the 10th first-class century of his career. The next best scorer for Southern Punjab was Zeeshan Ashraf with 24.

Left-arm-spinner Nauman Ali who represented Pakistan in the Test series against Bangladesh took six wickets for 104 runs – 22nd five-wicket haul of his first-class career.

Northern were off to a poor start in their first innings as they ended day-one at 54 for three.

Scores in brief:

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Balochistan –UBL Sports Complex, Karachi

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 116 all out, 41 overs (Kamran Ghulam 31, Sajid Khan 25 not out; Taj Wali 4-19, Kashif Bhatti 4-20) and 17 for 2, 8 overs.

Balochistan 100 all out, 26 overs (Ayaz Tassawar 22; Arshad Iqbal 4-31, Asif Afridi 2-8)

Points so far: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – six, Balochistan – six.

Sindh vs Central Punjab - State Bank of Pakistan Stadium, Karachi

Sindh 155 for 9 (declared), 52 overs (Sohail Khan 65, Fawad Alam 32; Muhammad Ali 3-20, Muhammad Saad 3-24)

Central Punjab 78 for 3, 23.1 overs (Abid Ali 45 not out)

Points so far: Sindh – one, Central Punjab –three

Southern Punjab vs Northern - National Bank of Pakistan Stadium, Karachi

Southern Punjab 238 all out, 69.5 overs (Salman Ali Agha 142; Nauman Ali 6-104; Mubasir Khan 2-34)

Northern 54 for 3, 18 overs

Points so far: Southern Punjab – six, Northern –one