LAHORE - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the title defenders, had a poor start to their Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2022-23 campaign as they faced a 134-run defeat by Balochistan at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium.

Set 370 to win, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were bowled out for 235 in just 68.5 overs on what was the fourth and final day of the opening round after fighting 60s from one-drop Sahibzada Farhan (63 off 67) and number four Kamran Ghulam (61 off 109). Khurram Shahzad finished with seven wickets for the match – returning three for 61 in the last innings of the match.

Balochistan’s Hussain Talat stroked a half-century, earlier in the day. The left-handed batter made 55 off 80. His team had started the day on 107 for four and declared on 187 for five. 

Northern - the finalists of the last season – thrashed Southern Punjab by 10 wickets Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium. Northern were set eight to win, which they overhauled in nine balls, to occupy the top spot in the six-team points table with 25 points.

Southern Punjab – following on – trailed by 117-run with Imran Rafiq and Usman Salahuddin at the crease. Usman could add 15 more to his overnight score before he was run out on 55 and Imran (not out on 34 yesterday) went on to score 90 off 228 balls, hitting 14 fours. Mehran and Musa Khan finished with three wickets each.

The match between Central Punjab and Sindh ended in a draw. Tayyab Tahir, not out on 72, scored a century and was unbeaten on 152 off 252 (18 fours and three sixes) before his captain Mohammad Saad declared the innings on 277 for nine. Sindh, needing 338 to win, were 132 for four, with Khurram Manzoor top-scoring with 50 off 88, before the close of play.

The second round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy begins on Monday – Balochistan play Central Punjab at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Southern Punjab lock horns at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium and Northern and Sindh face off at the Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad.

SCORES IN BRIEF

BALOCHISTAN 473 all out, 123 overs (Azeem Ghumman 78, Kashif Bhatti 71; Arshad Iqbal 4-114, M Sarwar Afridi 2-55, Ihsanullah 2-104) and 187-5, 52 overs (Hussain Talat 55; Arshad Iqbal 2-33) beat KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA 291 all out, 85.4 overs (Kamran Ghulam 102; Khurram Shahzad 4-67, Kashif Bhatti 2-43, Akif Javed 2-87) and 235 all out, 68.5 overs (Sahibzada Farhan 63; Khurram Shahzad 3-61, Kashif Bhatti 2-43, Akif Javed 2-75) by 134 runs. 

NORTHERN 529-5d, 133 overs (Mubasir Khan 170*, Abdul Faseeh 151; Hassan Khan 3-94, Ali Usman 2-143) and 8-0, 1.3 overs beat SOUTHERN PUNJAB 269 all out, 86.2 overs (Zain Abbas 120; Nauman Ali 4-73, Musa Khan 2-51, Mehran Mumtaz 2-63) and 265 all out, 104 overs (Imran Rafiq 90; Musa Khan 3-39, Mehran Mumtaz 3-72, Mubasir Khan 2-55) by 10 wickets. 

CENTRAL PUNJAB 428 all out, 102.2 overs (Abdullah Shafique 232; Mir Hamza 3-72, Asif Mehmood 3-128) and 277-9, 90.4 overs (Tayyab Tahir 152*, Abdullah Shafique 61; Asif Mehmood 4-59, Mir Hamza 3-41) tied with SINDH 368 all out, 85.5 overs (Fawad Alam 127*, Sarfaraz Ahmed 78; M Ali 4-84, Aamer Yamin 3-80) and 132-4, 44 overs (Khurram Manzoor 50).