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September 15, 2019

Abid, Khurram hit tons for Sindh as Quaid-e-Azam Trophy begins


September 15, 2019

KARACHI: International openers Abid Ali and Khurram Manzoor blasted solid centuries to shepherd Sindh to 237-2 in their first innings at stumps on the opening day of their first round four-day fixture of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2019-2020 (first-class) against Balochistan here at the UBL Sports Complex on Saturday.

On a perfect day, both Abid (120*) and Khurram (105) took time to consolidate their team’s innings with marvelous hundreds after Balochistan skipper Haris Sohail decided to field first.

In the first session, Sarfraz Ahmed’s Sindh, batted cautiously, scoring only 43 in 28 overs. At tea, Sindh were 116 without loss. In the last session Sindh added 121 runs to their total that helped them post a decent score in 90 overs.

Lahore-born Abid, who was in reserves in Pakistan’s squad for the ICC World Cup in England this year, smashed 13 fours in his 273-ball unfinished 18th century of his first-class career in 103rd outing. Abid’s hundred came in 230 deliveries.

Khurram, on the other hand, struck 13 fours and one six in his 292-ball knock before being removed by Test leggie Yasir Shah, held nicely by substitute Mohammad Asghar. Khurram brought in his hundred off 219 deliveries. The duo added 212 for the first wicket stand.

After losing Khurram, Saad Ali (2) failed to take a good start to his season’s journey, falling to Yasir when he was trapped leg-before. At stumps, Asad Shafiq (5*) was at the other end with Abid. Yasir was the only wicket-taker, finishing the day with 2-90 in 31 overs.

The match is being supervised by Khalid Mehmood Senior and Alay Haider.

In the other show at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Test discard Sami Aslam hit a glorious 151 not out to enable Southern Punjab to recover from early hiccups to pile-up 291-4 in their first innings at close against Central Punjab.

After electing to bat, Southern Punjab had a poor start and at one stage they were reeling at 74-4. However, Sami was then joined by Test wicket-keeper Adnan Akmal (106*). Both applied themselves and pulled their team out of deep crisis by sharing 271-runs for the fifth wicket unbroken association.

Sami hammered 19 fours in his 252-ball 11th first-class century. The 34-year old Adnan hit 19 fours in his 175-ball unfinished effort. Left-arm pacer Waqas Maqsood (3-51) accounted for skipper Shan Masood’s wicket in the seventh over by rattling his stumps through the gap between the left-handed batsman’s bat and front-pad.

Hasan Ali (1-67) soon ticked the wickets’ column on the first ball of his second spell by inducing an edge of Imran Rafiq’s blade to be caught by Babar Azam, the Central Punjab’s captain, at the second slip.

Waqas struck in tandem, removing Sohaib Maqsood and Umar Siddiq, in a span of five balls during the 23rd over to augment the visiting side’s troubles.

Before the beginning of the game, teams, match officials and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani observed a minute’s silence in the memory of spin maestro Abdul Qadir who passed away the other day at Lahore.

At Abbottabad Cricket Stadium, Ashfaq Ahmed scored his fifth first-class century as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa took early control against Northern.

At close, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were strongly placed at 343-4. Captain Muhammad Rizwan was batting on 84 and with him at the other end was Adil Amin on 49. The pair added 91 for the unbroken fifth wicket stand.

Rizwan also got into a groove early and will be looking to pass the three-figure mark on Sunday (today). The right-handed wicket-keeper batsman has so far hit 12 fours and a six in his 152-minute unfinished innings. Adil’s unbeaten 49 was laced with six boundaries. Coming in at the fall of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) first wicket on 62, Ashfaq batted with confidence and began the new first-class cricket season with an impressive 106. He cracked 14 fours and a six in his 174-ball knock.

Earlier, KP’s other batsmen failed to stay long. The hard-hitting left-handed opener Fakhar Zaman was aggressive early on, hitting six fours in his 38-ball 33. Sahibzada Farhan also looked good for his 29, while Iftikhar Ahmed was run out for 35.

Imad, who used six bowlers, finished the day with 1-44. Sadaf Hussain (1-58) and Musa Khan (1-65) were the other successful bowlers.

The match started after a delay of 15 minutes because of a wet square. However, no overs were lost.

Meanwhile, in the three-day Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (non-first-class) opener at the KRL Stadium in Rawalpindi, Northern Punjab accumulated 282-8 in the allotted 83 overs in their first innings against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa thanks to Faizan Riaz’s excellent 156 not out. Spinner Khalid Usman got 5-70. KP, in reply, were 26 without loss at close.

At Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad, Central Punjab were bowled out for 253 in their first innings against Southern Punjab with Mohammad Akhlaq scoring 135.

Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar picked 5-103. Southern Punjab, in response, were four without loss at stumps.

Here at NBP Sports Complex, Balochistan perished for 183 in their first innings against Sindh with Awais Zia hammering 71. Left-arm spinner Hassan Khan captured 4-34. Sindh were 55-2, in response.