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Qasim, Imran and Saad hit centuries; Northern staring at defeat against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

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Lahore, 22 November 2022: Day-three of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy tenth round was staged at three venues today (Tuesday). Sindh and Central Punjab are poised for draws against Balochistan and Southern Punjab respectively at the LCCA Ground and Gaddafi Stadium Lahore while Northern are facing a defeat after a poor day against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the Shoaib Akhtar Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi.

The players selected for the Pakistan-England Test series were withdrawn from Sindh’s side and were replaced by reserves or by players competing in the CA Championship matches in Karachi. The players withdrawn include Saud Shakeel (replaced by Danish Aziz), Sarfaraz Ahmed (replaced by Muhammad Hasan), Zahid Mehmood (replaced by Arish Ali Khan) and Abrar Ahmed (replaced by Aaliyan Mehmood).

Sindh declared their first innings at 644 for six after resuming at 607 for four. Saad Khan was dismissed today for 87 0ff 141 balls (nine fours, one six). Fawad Alam returned undefeated on 62 off 168 balls.

Kashif Bhatti with three wickets was the most successful bowler for Balochistan. In reply to Sindh’s mammoth score, Balochistan finished the day at 240 for two with Imran Butt scoring an unbeaten 105 off 171 balls (18 fours). Abdul Wahid Bangalzai scored 52 while Imran’s opening partner Haseebullah contributed 44. When stumps were drawn for the day captain Asad Shafiq (35 not out) was at the crease with Imran.

Central Punjab resumed their first innings at 75 for no loss. Openers Abid Ali (37) and Imran Dogar (44) perished in the first session. Tayyab Tahir fell for 23. At this stage in form all-rounder Qasim Akram joined captain Mohammad Saad. From 129 for three, the pair took the score to 351 in a super fourth-wicket alliance worth 222 runs. Qasim scored the second century of his short first-class career having also notched a century in the previous round.

The former Pakistan U19 captain was dismissed for 138 off 159 balls (24 fours, one six) by Sameen Gul who took two wickets for 83.  Saad provided great support to Qasim and reached his own century, the right-hander was unbeaten on 135 off 213 balls (15 fours, one six) when stumps were drawn for the day. Central Punjab will resume tomorrow at 415 for four, Southern Punjab scored 550 for eight (declared) in their first innings.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa resumed their first innings at 241 for five, the lower-order performed superbly to take their side to an imposing 444-run total – 221-run first innings lead. Maaz Sadaqat was dismissed for 91. Mohammad Imran (55 not out), Khalid Usman (38) and Sajid Khan (23) contributed efficiently to deter the Northern bowlers.

Northern were then reduced to 46 for four by close of play (175 runs behind Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). Imran followed his batting performance with a three-wicket spell.

Scores in brief:

Sindh won the toss and opted to bat against Balochistan at the LCCA Ground, Lahore

Sindh 644 for 6 (declared) 165.1 overs (Saud Shakeel 181, Khurram Manzoor 174, Saad Khan 87, Omair bin Yousuf 71, Fawad Alam 62 not out; Kashif Bhatti 3-142)

Balochistan 240 for 2, 64 overs (Imran Butt 105 not out, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai 52; Aaliyan Mehmood 1-47)

Toss uncontested – Central Punjab chose to field against Southern Punjab at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore

Southern Punjab 550 for 8 (declared) 126 overs (Salman Ali Agha 158 not out, Zeeshan Ashraf 145, Imran Rafiq 117, Hasan Ali 38; Qasim Akram 3-43, Umaid Asif 2-87)

Central Punjab 415 for 4, 98 overs (Qasim Akram 138, Muhammad Saad 135 not out, Imran Dogar 44; Sameen Gul 2-83)

Toss uncontested – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chose to field against Northern at the Shoaib Akhtar Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi

Northern 223 all out, 72.2 overs (Rohail Nazir 82, Mubasir Khan 31; Ihsanullah 4-41, Niaz Khan 3-59) and 46 for 4, 25 overs (Hasan Raza 20 not out, Rohail Nazir 18 not out; Mohammad Imran 3-19)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 444 all out, 132.4 overs (Maaz Sadaqat 91, Kamran Ghulam 81, Mohammad Imran 55 not out, Mohammad Haris 52; Kashif Ali 3-90, Mehran Mumtaz 2-86)