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November 10, 2020

Northern down Sindh despite Saud’s fighting 174


November 10, 2020

KARACHI: Saud Shakeel’s fighting 174 could not save Sindh from defeat as they were downed by Northern by 128 runs on the fourth and final day of their third round fixture of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (first-class) here at UBL Sports Complex on Monday.

This was the first defeat tasted by Sindh in three games. Northern completed their second successive win following a huge loss in the first round of the six-team event.

Set to score 423, Sindh resumed their second innings at 77-3 and were folded for 294 in 91.2 overs. It was a day which tested the temperament of the 25-year-old left-handed Saud, who stood like a rock, putting in a brave fight in the lost cause. Saud, who was batting on 46 on Sunday, smashed 27 fours in his 296-ball century — eighth of his first-class career. He stayed at the wicket for 392 minutes.

Fawad Alam scored 36 off 54 balls, striking five fours. Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed made only 16. The hero for Northern was once again their skipper Nauman Ali, who bagged 5-95, for excellent match figures of 10-157. This is the fourth time in his career that Sanghar-born left-arm spinner took ten or more wickets in a match.

“It’s great that through my performance my team won the game,” Nauman said. “We set them a stiff target thanks to our first innings lead and then the way Sarmad and Hammad batted in the second innings,” he added.

Northern scored 328 and 311-6 declared. Sindh had posted 217 in their first innings. Northern pocketed 24 points – 16 for outright win, three for batting and five for bowling. With one batting point and three bowling points, Sindh added four points to their tally.

At NBP Sports Complex, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa broke the unbeaten run of Southern Punjab, beating them by 75 runs. Set to score 263, Southern Punjab were bowled out for only 187 in 71.1 overs. Umar Siddiq scored 56 which came off 130 balls, featuring five fours. Mukhtar Ahmed chipped in with 38, striking two sixes and two fours from 87 balls. Salman Ali Agha belted 25 off 44 deliveries, hammering three fours. Left-arm spinner Khalid Usman got 4-50, for a match-haul of 6-116. Off-spinner Sajid Khan claimed 3-63, for match figures of 9-134.

Left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari, who remained wicketless in the first innings, got 2-30 in 12 overs. KP had scored 304 and 246. Southern Punjab had posted 288 in their first innings.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa gained 22 points from the match (16 for outright win, two for batting and four for bowling). Table-toppers Southern Punjab managed only five points (two for batting and three for bowling).

At National Stadium, the match between defending champions Central Punjab and Balochistan ended in a draw. Set to score 269, Central Punjab had reached 225-7 in 66 overs when the game ended.

Skipper Azhar Ali struck unbeaten 95, hitting 11 fours from 184 balls. Mohammad Saad chipped in with 47 off 80 deliveries, striking seven fours.

Khurram Shehzad got 2-49. Ammad Butt claimed 2-45, for a match haul of 8-102.

Balochistan, who had 55-run first innings lead, resumed their second innings at 170-7 and were bowled out for 213 in 74.1 overs. Usama Mir made 25 off 46 balls, striking two sixes and two fours.

Spinner Ahmad Safi Abdullah got 4-31, for a match tally of 7-87. Left-arm pacer Waqas Maqsood got 2-59, for match figures of 5-125. Ehsan Adil claimed 2-45, ending with 3-100.

Balochistan had scored 306 in their first innings. In response, Central Punjab had accumulated 251.

Central Punjab coach Shahid Anwar said that they played positive cricket. “We had sent up pinch-hitters Bilawal and Safi in order to reduce the pressure on Azhar and to score quick runs to ensure a successful chase but when they fell we changed our strategy and decided to go for a draw,” he said.

“We could have drawn our previous game against Sindh as well but we wanted to produce a result,” he said. “Although results are not coming in our way but we are trying to play positive cricket,” Shahid said.

Balochistan’s stand-in skipper Imran Butt said they properly executed their plans and kept the opposition under pressure for all four days.

Central Punjab, who continue to remain at the bottom of the points table, added 10 points (five for draw, three for batting and two for bowling).

Balochistan, ranked third, bagged 12 points (five for draw, three for batting and four for bowling).

The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy takes an 11-day break during which HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 playoffs and the final will be staged at the Karachi’s National Stadium. The first-class action will resume from November 20 in Karachi.