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Salman and Imran score centuries for Southern Punjab as batters dominate tenth round matches in Lahore

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Lahore, 21 November 2022: Sindh further consolidated their chances of a final’s appearance in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2022-23 season by cruising past the 600-run mark in the first innings against Balochistan in their tenth round match at the LCCA Ground, Lahore while Southern Punjab were helped by centuries from Salman Ali Agha and Imran Rafiq on day-two of their tie against Central Punjab at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Monday. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the other hand took a slender first innings lead against table-toppers Northern at the Shoaib Akhtar Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi.

At the LCCA Ground, Khurram Manzoor and captain Saud Shakeel resumed the Sindh first innings at 349 for one. The two took the partnership to 279 before the seasoned Khurram was dismissed by left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti for 174 off 260 balls (24 fours, one six). Saud fell for 181 off 259 balls (19 fours, one six). The left-hander spent 414 minutes at the crease during his outstanding innings. Omair Bin Yousuf who had scored a century in the previous game in Karachi scored 71 off 132 (nine fours, one six).

Fawad Alam (55 not out, 135 balls, four fours) and Saad Khan (57 not out, 113 balls, six fours, one six) had both passed their fifties when stumps were drawn for the day. The two have so far added 103 runs for the fifth-wicket. Sindh finished day-two at 607 for four – 155 overs. A draw will all but guarantee Sindh a place in the five-day tournament final that will be played from 26 November.

Southern Punjab resumed their first innings at 270 for three at the Gaddafi Stadium. Middle-order batter Salman Ali Agha led the way for his side on day-two with an imperious 158 not out off 168 balls (23 fours, one six). Salman added 134 runs for the fourth-wicket with Imran who converted his overnight unbeaten half-century into a 117-run innings. Imran faced 211 balls and hit 17 fours and a six.

Skipper Hasan Ali blazed a quickfire 38 not out off 24 balls (five fours, two sixes) as Southern Punjab declared their innings at an imposing 550 for eight total. Central Punjab openers Imran Dogar (39 not out) and Abid Ali (35 not out) provided their side a confident 70-run start in 20 overs before stumps were drawn for the day.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa resumed their first innings at six for one and reached 241 for five by close of play on day-two. Middle-order batter Kamran Ghulam top-scored with 81 off 128 balls (10 fours and one six). Talented youngster Maaz Khan was unbeaten on 70 (178 balls, eight fours, one six) when stumps were drawn for the day. Opener Israrullah scored 49 runs, Kashif Ali with two for 47 was the most successful Northern bowler. Northern had been dismissed for 223 runs in their first innings on day-one.

Scores in brief:

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

Sindh 607 for 4, 155 overs (Saud Shakeel 181, Khurram Manzoor 174, Omair Bin Yousuf 71, Saad Khan 57 not out, Fawad Alam 55 not out; Kashif Bhatti 2-138)

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 75 for no loss, 20 overs (Imran Dogar 39 not out, Abid Ali 35 not out)

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

Northern 223 all out, 72.2 overs (Rohail Nazir 82, Mubasir Khan 31; Ihsanullah 4-41, Niaz Khan 3-59)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 241 for 5, 82.3 overs (Kamran Ghulam 81, Maaz Khan 70 not out, Israrullah 49; Kashif Ali 2-47)