LAHORE-Pindi Cricket Stadium will always be dear to Abdullah Shafique as it is where he scored his maiden first-class double-century today. 

The 22-year-old smashed 232 - a knock embellished with 28 fours and four sixes – at a remarkable strike rate of 89. His innings played a crucial role in Central Punjab pocketing maximum batting points (five) for being at 411 for eight at 100-over-mark before they were bowled out for 428 by Sindh on the second day of what is the opening round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2022-23.

Abdullah began the day at 189 and had the company of all-rounder Aamer Yamin, who scored a 77-ball 70. The pair added 135 for the seventh wicket. The fact that Aamer’s 70 was the second best score in the innings underscores the magnitude of Abdullah’s knock and sheds light on how he anchored Central Punjab’s innings.

Sindh, in reply, had managed 270 for five by the close of play - after being reduced to 94 for three – thanks to an unbeaten 86-run stand between Fawad Alam (75 not out) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (42 not out). Twenty-year-old Saim Ayub showed his class on first-class debut with a solid 71 off 96 (nine fours and a six). 

At the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium, Kashif Bhatti’s lower-order blitz helped Balochistan finish at 473 all out after they began the day on 324-5. Kashif smashed 11 fours and two sixes in his 84-ball 71 and was duly supported by number 10 batter Khurram Shahzad who made 47 in 69 balls (8 fours).

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had lost five batters for 151 before stumps. Kamran Ghulam, with his unbeaten 64 off 105 (9 fours and a six) held Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s innings together after they were three down for 34 and added 67 runs with Adil Amin (39 off 60). Kamran will begin the proceedings on Thursday with Rehan Afridi, who is not out on 20.

Northern posted a mammoth 529 for five against Southern Punjab at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium, courtesy an extraordinary 170 not out off 236 balls from Mubasir Khan, the last season’s player of the tournament. Mubasir smashed 22 fours and a six after starting the day on 74. Opener Zain Abbas made a half-century and was batting at 69. Salman Ali Agha (35*) joined him at the other end.

SCORES IN BRIEF

CENTRAL PUNJAB 428 all out, 102.2 overs (Abdullah Shafique 232, Aamer Yamin 70; Mir Hamza 3-72, Asif Mehmood 3-128) vs SINDH 270-5, 66 overs (Fawad Alam 75*, Saim Ayub 71, Sarfaraz Ahmed*; Aamer Yamin 2-50)

NORTHERN 529-5d, 133 overs (Mubasir Khan 170*, Abdul Faseeh 151, Umar Amin 89, Sarmad Bhatti 81; Hassan Khan 3-94, Ali Usman 2-143) vs SOUTHERN PUNJAB 128-2, 47 overs (Zain Abbas 69*, Salman Ali Agha 35*) 

BALOCHISTAN 473 all out, 123 overs (Azeem Ghumman 78, Kashif Bhatti 71, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai 69; Arshad Iqbal 4-114, M Sarwar Afrid 2-55, Ihsanullah 2-104) vs KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA 151-5, 45 overs (Kamran Ghulam 64*, Adil Amin 39; Khurram Shahzad 2-37).