Central Punjab Blues, KP Blues dominate their pools

Our Correspondent
July 05, 2022

KARACHI: Central Punjab Blues and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Blues continue to dominate their respective pools in the National Under-19 Cup.Both sides remain unbeaten in the tournament and are on the top of...

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KARACHI: Central Punjab Blues and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Blues continue to dominate their respective pools in the National Under-19 Cup.

Both sides remain unbeaten in the tournament and are on the top of the leaderboard in their groups. In the fourth round matches on Monday, in the Pool A fixture at the Rawal Cricket Ground in Rawalpindi, Central Punjab Blues spinners Ali Asfand and Arham Nawab bundled out Southern Punjab Blues for 83 in chase of 237. Southern Punjab Blues were never in sight of the target, as left-arm spinner Ali Asfand and right-arm off-spinner Arham Nawab toook four wickets apiece.

Earlier, batting first, Central Punjab Blues were bowled out for 236 in the 50th over. Obaid Shahid scored a 117-ball 90, which included nine fours and one six. Mohammad Muaz chipped in with 39 off 70 balls. Mohammad Shan picked four wickets for 48 from his 10 overs. Bilal Ahmed, Huzaifa Ayub and Kashif Fareed picked two wickets each.

In another group match, captain’s innings from Shamyl Hussain led Northern Blues to a comfortable 119-run win over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Blues at the National Ground in Islamabad. Batting first, opening batter Shamyl struck 13 boundaries during his 122-ball 98. Along with his opening partner Ali Abbas (46, 89b, two fours, one six), he scored 156 runs. Northern Blues finished on 271 for nine from their allotted 50 overs. Khubaib Khalil gave away 49 runs for two wickets from seven overs.

In reply, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Blues were bowled out for 152 in the 36th over. Wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Zulkifal top-scored with 61 off 79 balls, hitting seven fours and one six. Amir Hasan bagged four wickets for 24. Abidullah picked three wickets for 34, while Mohammad Ibrahim took two wickets for 27 runs.

At Ayub Park Cricket Ground in Rawalpindi, Habibullah’s century led Sindh Blues to a five-wicket win over Balochistan Blues. Chasing 281 to win, Sindh openers Habibullah and Saad Baig provided their side a solid 129-run start. Habibullah top-scored with 108 off 106 balls, which included 10 fours and four sixes. Saad scored a quick-fire 70 off just 47 balls, hitting 12 fours and one six. Ali Hassan’s unbeaten knock of 41 from 42 balls included two fours and as many sixes helped his side achieve the target in the 42nd over.

Earlier, after opting to bat first, Balochistan scored 280 for seven from 50 overs on the back of an unbeaten century by Ikramullah Khan. Opening batter Ikramullah scored 130 off 147 balls, laced with 13 fours and two sixes. Shahid Ali scored 51 off 71 balls, striking four boundaries. Sindh Blues’ Hameed Karim was the pick of the bowlers with three for 62. Ziaullah bagged two wickets for 47.

Meanwhile, in the Pool B fixture at the Saeed Ajmal Cricket Academy in Faisalabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Whites continued their winning streak by beating Northern Whites by 81 runs. Opting to bat first, Shahzaib Khan’s unbeaten 100 off 111 balls helped Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Whites post 285 for four from 50 overs. Shahzaib hit six fours and two sixes. Abbas Ali scored a 54-ball 52, hitting four fours and one six.

In reply, Northern Whites were bundled out for 204 in the 44th over. Wicketkeeper-batter Dawood Nazar top-scored with 73 off 91, smashing seven fours and one six. Jawad Ali bagged three wickets for 37. Mohammad Irfan and Tahir Ali grabbed two wickets apiece.

In another round fixture, captain’s innings from Ali Ishaq guided Sindh Whites to a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Balochistan Whites at the LCCA Ground in Lahore.

Chasing 238 to win, Sindh openers Ali and Hamza Qureshi (35 off 37, eight fours) provided a solid 81-run start. After the departure of Hamza, Nauman Ali joined Ali and both batters played shots at parts of the ground at will and helped their side achieve the target in just 28.1 overs. The pair added 157 runs. Ali top-scored with 119 off 78 balls, which included 14 fours and three sixes. Nauman struck seven fours and three sixes during his knock of 69 from 57 balls.

Earlier, captain Mohammad Siddique struck 110 from 122 balls to help his side post 237 for six from 50 overs. Siddique hit 14 fours and one six. Dunya Khan chipped in with 35 off 33 balls, hitting three fours and two sixes. Saqlain Nawaz picked three wickets for 39 runs. In Pool B, Southern Punjab Whites defeated Central Punjab Whites by three wickets at the Rana Naveed Cricket Academy in Sheikhupura. CP Blues lead Pool A with four wins from as many matches. In Pool B, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Whites have won all four matches.

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