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November 21, 2020

Asad, Omair put Sindh in driving seat against Southern Punjab


November 21, 2020

KARACHI: Skipper Asad Shafiq and Omair bin Yousuf blasted fine unbeaten centuries to put Sindh in driving seat on the opening day of their four-day fourth round fixture of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (first-class) against Southern Punjab here at the National Stadium on Friday.

After losing three quick wickets, Omair (129*) and Asad (123* retired hurt) added 228 runs for the fourth wicket unbroken association to take Sindh to 289-4 in 83.2 overs in their first innings after opting to bat first.

Both the batsmen played quality cricket and managed some superb shots towards all corners of the ground. Omair in particular played some delightful hooks and cover drives.

The 21-year-old Omair struck 11 fours in his 210-ball knock. This was his fourth hundred in 17 first-class games. Asad, who has been dropped from national Test squad for New Zealand tour, struck 17 fours from 195 balls. This was the 24th century from Asad in his 157th first-class outing.

Left-arm pacer Zia-ul-Haq got 2-41 in 14 overs.

Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were in deep trouble against Central Punjab here at the UBL Sports Complex as 14 wickets fell in 87.2 overs.

After opting to bat first, Central Punjab, being led by Usman Salahuddin, perished for 158 in 66.2 overs. Usman led from the front, scoring valuable 54 off 145 balls, striking four fours. Tail-enders Bilal Asif (22) and Ahmad Safi (20) then scored some crucial runs after the top and middle order had failed on a difficult track for batting.

Bilal, a discarded Test cricketer, struck three fours from 28 balls while Ahmad Safi hammered three fours from 25 deliveries.

Off-spinner Sajid Khan, who has had a decent season so far, continued with his fine bowling, snaring 4-56 in 26 overs. Test pacer Imran Khan Senior claimed 3-29 in 13 overs and left-arm spinner Khalid Usman, also a stand-in skipper, captured 2-35 in 10.2 overs.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in response, were gasping at 61-4 with Israrullah scoring 25 off 47 balls, hitting five fours and Musaddiq Ahmad hammering 22 off 26 deliveries, striking three fours and one six.

Adil Amin was at the crease on eight and Kamran Ghulam on one.

Left-arm pacer Waqas Maqsood (2-17) and off-spinner Bilal Asif (2-26) bowled well. Ali Shan has been brought in by Central Punjab as stumper in place of Kamran Akmal, who is nursing a shoulder injury.

Here at NBP Sports Complex, Azeem Ghumman (95) and Ali Waqas (52) shared 105 runs for the second wicket to enable truncated Balochistan to reach 257-5 in their first innings against Northern.

Azeem struck eight fours from 233 balls while left-handed batsman Ali Waqas hit eight fours from 136 balls. Stumper Bismillah Khan was at the crease on 26 and Ayaz Tasawar on 14.

Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali was the pick of the bowlers with 3-70 in 32 overs.