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Rawalpindi, 18 November 2019: After their maiden victory in the ongoing four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Northern carried forward their impressive batting form on day one of their fixture against Southern Punjab at Rawalpindi’s KRL Stadium.
In the eighth-round match of country’s premier first-class tournament, the hosts were 339 for five in 78 overs when stumps were drawn.
Openers Umar Amin (90) and Zeeshan Malik (45) provided a solid foundation after Northern captain Nauman Ali elected to bat.
Northern were 121 for one by Lunch as Umar crossed the 50-run mark while Zeeshan was dismissed by left-arm medium-fast Zia-ul-Haq.
Southern Punjab tightened screws in the afternoon session and had Umar, who spanked 10 fours and four sixes in his 113-ball stay at the crease, back in the pavilion.
Ali Sarfraz, however, helped Northern march to 245 for three at Tea with a solid half-century. The 31-year-old left-handed batsman scored 73 runs from 130 balls, seven of which were sent to boundaries.
Batting at six, Hammad Azam was unbeaten on 48 when the day ended.The all-rounder has faced 65 balls, to date, and hit four fours and a six. He was joined by wicketkeeper-batsman Jamal Anwar (18) at the other end.
The pair had stitched an unbeaten 51-run partnership.
For Southern Punjab, left-arm spinner Mohammad Irfan was the pick of bowlers with three for 95 while Zia and leg-spinner Zahid Mehmood claimed a wicket each.
When the second day’s play begins on Tuesday, Northern, ranked fourth on the points table, will look to strengthen their position by bagging maximum batting points (5) by reaching the 400-run mark inside the 110-over cut-off.
If Southern Punjab take four or more wickets in the next 32 overs, they would bag all three bowling points on offer.
Scores in brief:
Northern 339-5, 78 overs (Umar Amin 90, Ali Sarfraz 73, Hammad Azam 48*, Zeeshan Malik 45; Muhammad Irfan 3-95) v Southern Punjab