Azhar, Salman centuries put Central Punjab in commanding position

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah leads Balochistan’s bowling as he bowls 32 overs and picks up crucial wickets of Azhar and Usman Salahuddin

LAHORE   -   Solid centuries by Central Punjab’s openers had the visitors on 338 for five against Balochistan when stumps were called on day one of the four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy round three match at Quetta’s Bugti Stadium.

Azhar Ali’s 165-ball 123, studded with 20 fours, was his second century on the trot as the Central Punjab captain had scored 155 in his side’s mammoth win by an innings and 100 runs against Northern at the Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad.

The day, however, belonged to Salman Butt, who was unbeaten on 152. The opener had received 285 balls of which 24 were dispatched for fours.

The two stitched an opening stand of 237 runs as Central Punjab, after opting for a toss, were put into bat. Once Azhar was back in the pavilion, Central Punjab lost three wickets 17 runs.

Kamran Akmal’s 28-ball 24, which included three fours and a six, put a halt on the collapse.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah led the Balochistan’s bowling as he bowled 32 overs and picked up the crucial wickets of Azhar and Usman Salahuddin.

Umar Gul, Khurram Shehzad and Ammad Butt picked up a wicket each. All-rounder Zafar Gohar (11) batted alongside Salman when stumps were drawn.

Northern in trouble against Sindh

Northern were in trouble at 86 for the loss of three wickets against Sindh at the close of the rain-shortened opening day’s play in the four-day Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match at the KRL Stadium Overnight and early morning rain meant only 40 overs were possible after the entire opening two sessions were lost as the third round fixture began at 2.45pm.

The toss was not contested as Sindh captain Asad Shafiq elected to bowl first. When the stumps were drawn for the day, Rohail Nazir was batting on 17 and Ali Sarfraz on three.

Afaq Raheem (19) and Haider Ali (26) provided Northern a decent start of 44 runs before both were sent packing in the space of 14 runs.

Northern suffered another major blow when their captain Umar Amin (17) was run out with the team’s score reading 71. Right-arm pace bowler Tabish Khan and left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti claimed a wicket apiece for 21 and 12 runs, respectively.

Rain-affected opening
day in Abbottabad

Openers Sahibzada Farhan and Israrullah hit their maiden half-centuries of the 2019-20 season as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reached 126 for no loss on a shortened opening day of the four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy fixture against Southern Punjab at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium.

Farhan was batting on 63 and Israrullah was 52 not out after early morning showers and wet field had delayed the start of the match by 150 minutes before late afternoon rain brought an early closure, meaning only 32.5 overs of play was possible.

This was after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had won the toss and elected to make first use of the wicket.

Farhan, who scored 29 in the opener against Northern and then managed three in his only innings against Sindh, has faced 104 balls and hit 11 exquisite fours.

Israrullah, who missed the opener but played against Sindh and scored two, has received 99 deliveries off which seven have been converted into fours.

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Abbas was in action and ended with figures of 8-1-21-0. Another Test fast bowler, Bilawal Bhatti, had figures of 6-0-35-0.


Central Punjab 338-5, 86 overs
(Salman Butt 152 not out, Azhar Ali 123, Kamran Akmal 24; Yasir Shah 2-103)
Vs Balochistan

Northern 86-3, 40 overs (Haider Ali
26; Tabish Khan 1-21, Kashif Bhatti 1-13) vs Sindh

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 126-0, 32.5 overs (Sahibzada Farhan 63 not out, Israrullah 52 not out) vs Southern Punjab.


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