Table-toppers Northern in a spot of bother against Southern Punjab
For the first time in this edition of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Northern are struggling as they were four down for only 94 in reply of Southern Punjab’s mammoth 566 at the close of day two at Abbottabad Cricket Stadium.
Southern Punjab 566-7d, 122 overs (Usman Salahuddin 126, Umar Siddiq 117, Salman Ali Agha 103 not out, Hasan Ali 53, Ali Usman 38 not out, Muhammad Imran 29; Kashif Ali 2-110, Athar Mehmood 2-158)
Northern 94-4, 22.3 overs (Mohammad Huraira 39 not out; Sameen Gul 3-23)
Balochistan 487-7d, 142.3 overs (Hussain Talat 112, Haseebullah 100 not out, Asad Shafiq 88, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai 59, Haris Sohail 42, Imam-ul-Haq 33; Sajid Khan 3-155)
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 52-4, 18.1 overs (Waqar Ahmed 24; Akif Javed 2-26)
Sindh 188 all out, 56 overs (Saad Khan 29, Saim Ayub 26, Zahid Mehmood 24, Muhammad Umar 23, Sarfaraz Ahmed 22; Aamer Yamin 5-54) and 1-0, 1.3 overs
Central Punjab 305 all out, 95.5 overs (Aamer Yamin 63, Ali Shan 55 not out, Azhar Ali 48, Qasim Akram 47, Abid Ali 44; Abrar Ahmed 4-82, Muhammad Umar 3-63, Mir Hamza 2-69)
Fast bowler Sameen Gul took three wickets for 23 in eight overs and Test cricketer Mohammad Abbas recorded one for 39 on Friday. When Northern, who top the six-team points table, commence their innings tomorrow with talented youngsters Mohammad Huraira (39) and Mubasir Khan (18) at the crease, they have an improbable task of avoiding the follow-on, which is still 273 runs away.
Northern, however, would put faith in Huraira and Mubasir to provide them a solid start on Saturday, considering how promising the starts of these two were in first-class cricket. Huraira, last year, became the second youngest Pakistani to score a triple-century and was the batter of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2021-22 and Mubasir, for his all-round heroics, was named player of the tournament.
Southern Punjab’s Salman Ali Agha, earlier in the day, brought up his second century on the bounce and became the third centurion in the innings after Umar Siddiq made 117 and Usman Salahuddin scored 108 yesterday. Usman added 18 more runs to his overnight score before he was dismissed on 126.
Salman made 103 at a sparkling strike rate of 101.98 and hit nine fours and two sixes.
Southern Punjab captain Hasan Ali smashed his fourth first-class half-century, scoring 53 off 38 (four fours and five sixes) and Ali Usman made 38 not out off 29 as Southern Punjab declared the innings at the loss of seven wickets.
Nineteen-year-old wicketkeeper Haseebullah scored his first-class career’s maiden century against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the Multan Cricket Stadium. The Balochistan wicketkeeper made 100 not out off 202 balls, hitting 12 fours, and stitched a solid 201-run partnership for the sixth-wicket with all-rounder Hussain Talat, who also made a century, scoring 112 off 195. In what was his fifth ton in the format, Hussain smashed 13 fours.
Balochistan declared at 487 for seven. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s problems compounded as four of their batters had made their way back to the pavilion at 18.1 overs mark and only 52 runs on the board. Akif Javed took two wickets for 26, while Bilawal Iqbal and Yasir Shah took a wicket each.
After picking up a five-wicket haul yesterday, Aamer Yamin produced an impressive performance with the bat for Central Punjab against Sindh, blasting 63 off 49. The right-handed batter smashed nine fours and a six and was the top-scorer for Central Punjab as they made 305 for 10 in 95.5 overs.
In an innings in which three batters missed half-centuries by close margins – Azhar Ali out on 48, Qasim Akram on 47 and Abid Ali on 44 – Ali Shan was the other batter to breach the 50-run mark as he made 84-ball 55 not out (five fours and two sixes).
Abrar Ahmed continued to shine as he was once again the pick of the bowlers, picking up four wicket for 82. Muhammad Umar took three wickets for 63 and Mir Hamza returned two for 69.
Sindh, trailing by 116, resume their second innings on one for none on Saturday.