Sajid Khan and Imran Khan Snr win maximum bowling bonus points for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa gathered all the bonus points for bowling by knocking out Punjab center for a measly 158 in 66.2 overs on the opening day of the fourth round of the First Class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy at the UBL Sports Complex Friday.
The reigning champions struck the opening ball of the match as Ali Zaryab was trapped in front of Imran Khan Snr. The pacemaker added two more wickets to his tally and returned three for 29 against 13 overs, four of which were young girls.
Sajid Khan’s impressive run in the tournament continued as central Punjab captain Usman Salahuddin (54), Mohammad Saad (four), Ali Shan (nine) and Bilawal Iqbal (0). He returned 26-7-56-4.
Usman, who chose to beat after winning the toss, was the only batsman to put up a resistance with a 54-ball 145 – his 44th half-century first-class. The 29-year-old crossed four limits during his stay.
There was, however, a resurgence in the latter part of the day as Waqas Maqsood and Bilal Asif from central Punjab took two wickets apiece, causing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at 61 to struggle for four.
Forerunners Musadiq Ahmed (22) and Israrullah (25) contributed 42 points for the opening wicket before losing three wickets for seven points.
Taking eight or more wickets and dismissing the opposition under 200 runs in 100 overs, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa pocketed six points. The Punjab center, languishing at the bottom of the points table, failed to get any bonus points for the stick but added one for their bowling alley.
A 228-year partnership between century-old makers Omair Bin Yousuf and his captain Asad Shafiq put Sindh at a comfortable 289-for-five at the end of the game after the opening burst of Zia-ul-Haq that saw them wrestle at 37. for three.
In the match at the National Stadium, Omair, the 21-year-old right-handed batsman, stroked an unbeaten 129 after arriving at the enclosure with his 15-for-two team.
He was joined by Asad, who scored 123 of 195 balls before retiring injured, following the dismissal of nine-year-old Saud Shakeel by right-arm pacemaker Bilawal Bhatti. Asad, who previously decided to strike after winning the toss, smashed 17 fours.
Omair has hit 11 fours out of the 210 balls he has faced so far and he will take over Sindh’s innings tomorrow with Saad Ali (11 not out).
The two openers – Sharjeel Khan (five) and Jahid Ali (three) – were fired by left arm pacemaker Zia, who returned two for 41 over his 14 overs. The other two wickets were taken by Bilawal Bhatti and Zahid Mehmood.
By the end of the first day, Sindh had accumulated two bonus points for the stick, while the southern Punjab, which is at the top of the table, added a bonus point for bowling.
Balochistan opener Azeem Ghumman missed what would have been his eleventh century in first-class cricket by five points in his team’s game against Northern at the National Bank sports complex.
The right-handed batsman faced 233 balls and hit eight borders on his way to 95 before being fired by left Orthodox Mohammad Nawaz.
Following the decision by North captain Nauman Ali not to contest the draw and choose to play first, Azeem sewed a crucial 105-point second wicket partnership with Ali Waqas, who scored 52.
Imran Farhat, the captain of Balochistan who opened with Azeem, was the first wicket to fall as he was sacked by his counterpart on the 24th. Nauman, the main wicket taker of the current tournament, finished the day with three for 70 in 32 overs.
Goalkeeper-beater Bismillah Khan and Ayaz Tasawar will return to the heats for Balochistan on Saturday at 26 and 14 not eliminated.
Scores in brief:
At the UBL sports complex, the center of Punjab won the draw and chose to beat:
Central Punjab 158 all out, 66.2 overs (Usman Salahuddin 54, Bilal Asif 22, Ahmed Safi Abdullah 20; Sajid Khan 4-56, Imran Khan Snr 3-29, Khalid Usman 2-35)
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 61-4, 21 overs (Israrullah 25, Musadiq Ahmed 22; Waqas Maqsood 2-17, Bilal Asif 2-26)
Points to date: Central Punjab 1, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 6
At the national stadium, Sindh won the toss and chose to beat:
Sindh 289-5, 83.2 overs (Omair Bin Yousuf 129 not released, Asad Shafiq 123 retired injured; Zia-ul-Haq 2-41)
Points to date: Sindh 2, Southern Punjab 1
At the National Bank Sports Complex, Northern chose to play bowling (undisputed pitch):
Balochistan 257-5, 87 overs (Azeem Ghumman 95, Ali Waqas 52, Bismillah Khan 26 not released, Taimur Ali 26, Imran Farhat 24; Nauman Ali 3-70)
Points to date: Balochistan 2, North 1
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