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December 3, 2017



Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2017-18: Players may struggle to adjust as Super Eight stage begins

KARACHI: Players may face problems in switching over from T20 version to four-day cricket as the Super Eight stage of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2017-18 begins at different venues on Sunday (today).

The decision of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to insert National T20 in the middle of first-class cricket may backfire as the players, who have recently played in T20 cricket in Rawalpindi with the white ball, could face problems initially when they resume four-day cricket which needs a lot of application.

Defending champions WAPDA will face Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) in their Group II first round outing here at the State Bank of Pakistan Ground. WAPDA coach Zahid Umar said that they are ready for the showdown.

“All of our players are fit and ready,” Zahid told this correspondent on Saturday.

When asked what problems the players might face in four-day cricket after coming from T20s.

“The problems will be known once cricket begins. Definitely there will be problems as in T20 cricket they played with the white ball and used to improvise but here in four-day cricket it will be different,” said Zahid, also a former first-class cricketer.

About SBP Ground, he said the field is soft but the boundary is short, adding, it is also far away.

WAPDA will be led by former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt, who is in solid form after hitting four fifties in the recently-concluded National T20, which was eventually won by Mohammad Hafeez-led Lahore Blues when they outsmarted Salman Butt-led Lahore Whites by seven wickets.

Meanwhile, in the other Group II showdown at Niaz Stadium Hyderabad, United Bank Limited (UBL) take on Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC). One leading side from each group will qualify for the five-day final to be held from December 21-25 at a yet to be decided venue.

UBL’s highly gutsy left-hander Saad Ali leads the batting chart as he has accumulated the highest 755 runs in ten innings at a staggering average of 83.88 which also includes two centuries and two fifties. His highest score remain 232. Abid Ali of Islamabad with 541 and Mohammad Saad of WAPDA with 526 are the other leading scorers.

In bowling, UBL’s Sohail Khan leads with 43 wickets, while Tabish Khan of PTV and Sadaf Hussain of KRL have claimed 37 wickets each. Test-discard Aizaz Cheema of Lahore Blues and Mohammad Irfan of Lahore Whites have taken 36 wickets each.


Group I: Dec 3-6: SNGPL v HBL (NBP Stadium Karachi), Lahore Blues v Lahore Whites (UBL Ground No1 Karachi), Dec 9-12: SNGPL v Lahore Whites (Niaz Stadium Hyderabad), Lahore Blues v HBL (State Bank Ground Karachi), Dec 15-18: SNGPL v Lahore Blues (Niaz Stadium Hyderabad), HBL v Lahore Whites (NBP Stadium Karachi); Group II: Dec 3-6: UBL v SSGC (Niaz Stadium Hyderabad), KRL v WAPDA (State Bank Ground Karachi), Dec 9-12: UBL v WAPDA (NBP Stadium Karachi), KRL v SSGC (UBL Ground No1 Karachi), Dec 15-18: UBL v KRL (UBL Ground No.1 Karachi), SSGC v WAPDA (State Bank Ground Karachi); Final: Dec 21-25: (venue to be announced later).