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Umar Akmal, Usman Salahuddin Hit Half-centuries in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy

Umar Akmal, Usman Salahuddin Hit Half-centuries
Umar Akmal, Usman Salahuddin Hit Half-centuries

Half-centuries by Umar Akmal and Usman Salahuddin helped Central Punjab add 227 runs to their total on day three of their four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy fixture against Balochistan before play had to be called-off early due to bad light at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.

Central Punjab were 255 for six, after resuming their innings at 28 for two, before stumps were drawn on the day in which 58.4 overs were bowled.

Umar recorded his 41st half-century in first-class cricket, scoring 78 runs. His 102-ball stay at the crease was studded with 11 fours and a six. 

Meanwhile, Usman struck his second half-century on trot and was unbeaten on 74. The 28-year-old, to date, had faced 129 balls, out of which 10 were hit for boundaries. 

The pair of Umar and Usman knitted a crucial 124-run partnership for the fifth-wicket to rescue Central Punjab from a precarious situation. Balochistan tightened the screws on hosts by taking two early wickets which left them reeling at 84 for four.

Opener Salman Butt added 32 runs to his overnight score of 15 before he fell three runs short of scoring his first-class career’s 34th half-century. 

For Balochistan, Mohammad Asghar picked up two more wickets on Wednesday. He has taken three wickets for 81 in 24 overs, so far. 

Right-arm medium-fast bowlers Khurram Shehzad and Hussain Talat picked up a wicket each. 

On Thursday, the final day of the match, Usman will resume Central Punjab’s innings with Zafar Gohar (eight).

Scores in brief

Balochistan 450 all-out, 124.1 overs (Imran Butt 137, Imran Farhat 87, Azeem Ghumman 72, Awais Zia 44, Taimur Khan 37, Hussain Talat 24; Aizaz Cheema 5-100, Mohammad Ali 3-72)

Central Punjab 255-6, 66.4 overs (Umar Akmal 78; Usman Salahuddin 74 not out, Salman Butt 47; Mohammad Asghar 3-81)