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November 20, 2019

Sindh secure lead against Central Punjab after Tabish’s five-wicket haul


November 20, 2019

KARACHI: Pacer Tabish Khan took five wickets while Khurram Manzoor and Jahid Ali scored half centuries to give Sindh upper hand against leaders Central Punjab on day two of their four-day Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match at the National Stadium here on Tuesday.

Sindh were 255 for the loss of four wickets, having gained nine runs lead by the end of the day’s play. Fawad Alam (42) and Sarfraz Ahmed (39) were at the crease, having put on 65 for fifth wicket.

Tabish took five wickets for 85 to bowl out Central Punjab for 246 in the morning session. It was Tabish’s 37th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. He has taken 565 in 126 matches.

Punjab resumed on 216 for seven with Usman Salahuddin on 50 but at the total of 234, Tabish trapped him leg before for 57 from 155 balls.

Sohail Khan dismissed the other overnight batsman, Ehsan Adil, who scored 23. Tabish also picked up the wicket of Waqas Maqsood to end the visitors innings.

Sindh collected full three bowling points for bowling Central Punjab out inside 110 overs, while Central Punjab had to settle with one batting point.

Sindh, who have been win-less in the tournament so far, were given a solid start by openers Khurram (85 from 118 balls) and Jahid (72 from 175 balls) who put on 140 runs together.

After a cautious start, Khurram played some big shots against the pace bowlers as well as spinners. But in his eagerness to get boundaries, he holed out to long on to give off-spinner Bilal Asif his first wicket. The right-hander smashed 11 fours and one six.

Bilal also bowled Shehzar Mohammad for two to rock the home side. His third victim was Jahid, who went after a patient knock.

Bilal finished with three for 64.

Seasoned pacer Aizaz Cheema had Saad Ali caught behind by Kamran Akmal for seven. The experienced duo of Fawad and captain Sarfraz took control in the final session. The latter hit five fours in his unbeaten, 52-ball innings.

At UBL Sports Complex, Karachi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Junaid Khan and Usman Shinwari shared seven wickets between them as Balochistan were skittled out for 146.

The left-arm pacers, operating in tandem, had Balochistan reeling at 19 for four in reply to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s 385 all-out.

Junaid took four wickets for 36, while Usman picked up three for the same amount of runs.

The pair faced resistance only from Hussain Talat (25) and Bismillah Khan (35), who stitched a 62-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

Ahmed Jamal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain Fakhar Zaman were the other bowlers to have checked their wickets’ column with a wicket each.

As the day concluded with the last wicket of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will take a call on enforcing the follow-on on Wednesday (today) morning.

If Fakhar decides to make Balochistan bat again, the Imran Farhat-led side will be have an arduous task of surmounting 239-run first innings deficit.

Earlier, Zohaib Khan cracked his second century of the tournament and Usman recorded his second first-class half-century.

Zohaib, who resumed his innings on 76, smashed 16 fours in his 133 off 232 balls.

Usman, batting at 10, hit four sixes and three fours in his 136-ball 51.

Mohammad Asghar picked another wicket on day two to record the figures of six for 121.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ended the day with seven points in their account, four for batting and three for bowling.

Balochistan bagged only two points as they had taken eight opposition wickets by 110-overs cut-off and failed to cross the 200-run mark, the minimum benchmark to get batting points.

At KRL Ground, Southern Punjab got off to a controlled start against a big Northern first innings total.

Southern were 149 for 2 in response to Northern’s 463 for seven declared. Hammad Azam (100 not out) finally came to the party for Northern with a stylish century. He smashed six fours and two sixes in his 154-ball unbeaten innings.

Hammad, who resumed at 48 not out, was seen playing with the same vein which was his innings hallmark on the first day. He was well supported by wicket-keeper batsman Jamal Anwar (44) and skipper Nauman Ali (37).

Though left arm seamer Waqas Ahmad dislodged in-form Sami Aslam (9) early, Umar Saddique (58 not out) and Zeeshan Ashraf (57) took the score to 127 before Shadab got him to see Southern Punjab finishing the day at 149 for 2.

Southern Punjab have a tough task to match Northern first innings total as they are still 314 runs behind with eight of their wickets in hand.