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December 7, 2018

Abid, Umar slam centuries as HBL pile up lead


December 7, 2018

KARACHI: Abid Ali and Umar Akmal scored solid hundreds to enable Habib Bank Limited (HBL) to secure a substantial lead against holders Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) on the third day of their five-day final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy here at the UBL Sports Complex on Thursday.

Abid, who recently showed his class against England Lions in the UAE, hammered 134 and Umar slammed 113 as HBL reached 449-8 in 153 overs after resuming their first innings at 170-1 in response to SNGPL’s total of 304 on the pitch which did not back the bowlers on the third day as well.

HBL, at stumps, had taken 145 runs lead with two wickets still in hand. Rameez Aziz was batting on 40 and with him at the other end was discarded international Umar Gul who was yet to open his account after facing four balls.

As per rules, if the game ends in a draw HBL will be declared champions on the basis of first innings lead. Abid-Umar third wicket stand was 122. The 31-year-old Abid, who was held by Iftikhar Ahmed off the bowling of discarded pacer Bilawal Bhatti, hit 17 fours in his 17th first-class hundred. Abid, who was batting on 92 at the close of second day’s play, completed his hundred off 214 deliveries. Before sharing a useful stand with Umar, Abid put on 150 for the second wicket association with Agha Salman (56) who was the first to fall on the third day, held by Ali Waqas off the bowling of paceman Azizullah.

Agha could add only six runs to his overnight total. He struck seven fours in his 177-ball valuable fifty. After Umar-Abid partnership was broken, skipper Imran Farhat (20) joined Umar and both added 61 runs for the fourth wicket partnership before the latter fell prey to spinner Khurram Shehzad. Umar wanted to play a delivery from Khurram on the onside, failed to connect it properly and it went straight to Misbah-ul-Haq who took an easy catch at short mid-on.

Umar smacked 16 fours in his 161-ball 15th first-class century in his 95th outing.He was also dropped by stumper Imran Butt off the bowling of Bilawal Bhatti when he was close to his well-deserved century.

When Umar was dismissed HBL were 360-4. In the next few overs HBL also lost Imran Farhat and young all-rounder Saad Khan (4). Farhat, who was removed by Khurram Shehzad, struck three fours during his 39-ball stay.

Rameez and international all-rounder Faheem Ashraf (23) then tried to further inflate the lead, scoring valuable 50 for the seventh wicket stand before Bilawal had Faheem. Faheem, who was released by Pakistan team for the final on the request of HBL team management, smashed three fours from 38 deliveries. Test spinner Abdul Rehman was the last man to be dismissed on the day after scoring ten runs.

Rameez, who was seen in fine touch, hammered three fours in his 108-ball unfinished knock.Bilawal Bhatti, who mostly remained unlucky, picked 2-101 from 26 overs. Khurram captured 2-14 in seven overs. Azizullah, Imran Khalid and Mohammad Imran got one wicket each.

Mohammad Asif and Faisal Afridi are supervising the match. Waleed Yaqoob is the television umpire. Khalid Mehmood Senior is the reserve umpire and Shahid Butt is serving as match referee.

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