Ahmed Safi gets a half-century and bags 10 wickets in first match of QeAT

LAHORE - Ahmed Safi Abdullah, playing for Faisalabad, has thus far stunned with his performances in the first round of games of the QeAT 2023- 2024. 

After Ahmed produced a gritty half-century in the second innings of the game against Rawalpindi, he got two wickets in the third innings, effectively grabbing ten wickets in the game. Playing at the Shoaib Akhtar Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi, he produced an ex­traordinary performance with bat and ball alike, rising as the most valuable player for his side thus far in the game. 

Faisalabad started the day at 178 for the loss of five wickets with Asif Ali and Ahmed Safi Abdullah at the crease. After Asif lost his wicket early in the day, as the set batter on crease Ahmed took on the mantle to keep the runs flowing. His part­nership of 59 runs with Ali Shan helped his side retain their momentum. 

Once that partnership was broken, the tail was cleaned up by the Multan bowlers. Faisalabad ended their innings at 269. Captain Zain Abbas was removed cheaply at the start of Mul­tan’s innings. Imran Rafiq and Sharoon Siraj subse­quently steadied the innings batting together for 58 runs. Once this was broken, the Zain-led side suffered a flurry of wickets. Multan ended the day at 155-5 after 52 overs, leading by 119 runs. 

Lahore Whites stood at 254- 7 at the start of day three of the match. All-rounder Aamir Jamal lost his wicket early in the day, after which centurion Saad Nasim was joined by Mohammad Irfan on the crease. Saad and Irfan displayed an extraordinary batting partner­ship, expanding for 130 runs. The right hander batter churned out a magnificent double century, bat­ting over two days. The Saad-led team was bowled out after scoring a mammoth 432. 

The Imran Butt-led team began the third innings, trailing by 184 runs. The captain and senior batter Usman Salahuddin both lost their wickets early on. At the end of the day’s play, Lahore Blues stood at 61-2 in 26 overs, with Rizwan Hus­sain and Umar Siddiq at the crease. 

At the start of the day, Peshawar stood at 231 for the loss of five wickets. They lost three wickets early in the day, with Abuzar Tariq, Sajid Khan and Abbas Afridi falling periodically. Peshawar was then bowled out for 301 runs. Medium pacer Ghulam Mudassar bagged a very important three-wicket-haul. 

Habibullah, the Karachi opener, lost his wicket cheaply at the start of their second batting innings. Danish Aziz and Ammad Alam could not stay on the crease for long either. Omair bin Yousaf and Asad Shafiq displayed a reliable partner­ship of 113 runs which brought back stability for the Sarfaraz-led side. However, then Omair was run out. Following which, two more wickets fell. At stumps, Sarfaraz Ahmed was at the crease alongside Aftab. The scorecard read 249-6. 

Rawalpindi began the day at 129-8. The Umar Waheed-led side scraped to 144 before being bowled out by the opposition. After losing both their openers for a run each, captain Khushdil Shah built a 63-run partnership with Salman Khan Jnr. Although wickets fell on the other end, Salman stood firm and completed a glorious century. 

Khushdil declared the innings at 225-6, giving the opposition a target of 400. Abdul Faseeh and­Hassan Raza opened the batting for Rawalpindi and were on the crease at the time of stumps, having scored 7 and 9 respectively. Rawal­pindi ended the day at 16-0 after batting for 8 overs.

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