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September 22, 2019

Rookie Omair hits ton as Q Trophy second round begins


September 22, 2019

KARACHI: Rookie right-handed batsman Omair Bin Yousuf slammed 133 not out to enable Sindh to reach 254-2 in 90 overs in their first innings on the opening day of their four-day second round outing of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (first-class) here at the UBL Sports Complex on Saturday.

Playing his first game of this first-class season, the 20-year-old Omair hit 15 fours and two sixes from 253 balls during his solid unfinished knock.

Getting chance in place of Abid Ali, who is in Pakistan’s camp for the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, Omair added 130 for the opening stand with Test-discard Khurram Manzoor (40) after KP’s captain Sahibzada Farhan chose to bowl without contesting the toss.

Omair then put on 120 runs for the third wicket with skipper Asad Shafiq who was batting on 68 which he scored off 133 deliveries. Asad smashed five fours and one six in his solid knock.

Saad Ali once again failed to play a major knock, scoring just one, bowled by Adil Amin. Part-time spinner Adil got 2-31 in 10 overs.

Omair was happy with his contribution.

“I am happy that I have scored century for Sindh in a major event,” Omair said at the post-match press conference. He said his main aim was to score runs whenever he would get an opportunity.

Meanwhile, Central Punjab were 369-5 against Northern thanks to a 235-run stand between Azhar Ali and Kamran Akmal when the stumps were drawn at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium.

Coming together at the crease with the hosts on 134-4, Test batsmen Azhar and Kamran weathered the storm with their centuries and put Central Punjab in a commanding position.

Azhar, not out on 110, hit eight fours in the 204 balls he faced. Wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran struck 12 fours and four sixes in his 170-ball 157 before being stumped out off Nauman Ali’s bowling on the third ball of the 88th over which ended the day’s play.

Northern’s decision to bowl first without contesting the toss paid dividends immediately as Musa Khan’s two quick wickets in the first session had Central Punjab reeling at 85-3 at lunch.

The 19-year-old struck again in the day and brought a promising 52-run fourth-wicket partnership between Azhar and Saad Nasim (31) to an end. Raza Hasan and Nauman, both left-arm spinners, were the other two bowlers to tick the wickets’ column by bagging a wicket each.

At the Bugti Stadium in Quetta, Balochistan amassed 347-4 against Southern Punjab. Visiting team captain Shan Masood would be ruing his decision to bowl first after watching the home team finish Saturday’s play in a commanding position.

Centuries by opening batsman Azeem Ghumman and captain Imran Farhat shaped the day for the hosts as the pair stitched a 181-run stand for the third-wicket after slow left-arm Mohammad Irfan struck twice in an over to reduce Balochistan to 129-2 with the wickets of opener Imran Butt (66) and Abu Bakar (0).

Imran Farhat, in particular, was in a menacing mood as he raced to his 35th first-class century. The 37-year-old left-handed batsman blasted 17 boundaries in his 118-ball 117 after occupying the crease for 183 minutes. While his captain was going great guns at the other end, Azeem, not out on 143, went about his business steadily to complete his tenth century at this level. The 28-year-old right-hander has hit 14 fours in 253 deliveries during a 390-minute stay at the wicket. Bismillah Khan (4*) was at the other end when stumps were drawn. Balochistan’s four wickets were equally shared by Irfan and paceman Bilawal Bhatti.