Nauman, Raza help Northern gain maximum bowling points
Statesman Report
KARACHI: Northern bowled out Central Punjab for a paltry 159 in 56.2 overs to collect maximum bowling bonus points on the opening day of the second round of the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
After examining the conditions, Northern captain Nauman Ali’s decided to utilise the “no toss” rule, which paid dividends. The captain himself accounted for four opposition wickets for 55 runs and was supported by Raza Hasan, who returned three for 27, in the match being played at the National Bank Sports Complex.
Waqas Ahmed, right-arm pacer, induced early blows as he dismissed Ahmed Shehzad (seven) and Central Punjab captain Azhar Ali (eight).
Only three Central Punjab batsmen registered double-digit scores.
Ali Zaryab was the notable run-getter as he made 78 off 144 balls. The 21-year-old’s vigil included nine fours and a six. Seventeen-year-old Qasim Akram, who featured for Pakistan in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup earlier this year, made 25 off 79 batting at seven and Ahmed Safi Abdullah scored 11 off 17.
Northern collected six points – three for bowling out the opposition inside 100 overs and three for making that happen under the score of 200 – and they were only 43 runs behind Central Punjab when stumps were drawn as they had reached 116 for three in 33 overs.
The opening pair of Umair Masood (36) and Zeeshan Malik (15) added 42 runs together before a blip which saw Northern slip to 66 for three as their second and third wickets fell without the addition of any score.
Central Punjab’s Hasan Ali took two wickets for 36.
Umar Amin and Asif Ali, who were not out on 26 and 34, respectively, will resume the proceedings for Northern on Sunday.
The highlight of the first day of the match between the two table-toppers – Southern Punjab (28 points) and Balochistan (25 points) – at the National Stadium was Imran Farhat’s 38th first-class century.
After Shan Masood, the Southern Punjab captain, opted against the toss and decide to bowl first, the 38-year-old stitched a 200-run stand with Imran Butt, who fell eight runs short of entering into triple digits.
Imran Farhat faced 138 balls of which 15 were dispatched for fours before he was forced to walk back to the hut after being retired hurt.
In the broadcast match, which is being produced by the Pakistan Cricket Board, the two Imrans had come together on the second ball as Sami Aslam was trapped in front by Mohammad Ilyas, who dismissed Kashif Bhatti (19) later in the evening session to finish the day with two for 48.
Imran Butt’s 138-ball 92 included 10 fours. He was dismissed by Zahid Mehmood, who was the other bowler to finish the day with two scalps.
Before the bad light stopped play, Balochistan had made 297 for six in 81.3 overs. As such, both sides added two points to their tally with Balochistan gaining the points for crossing the 250-run mark and Southern Punjab for dismissing opposition’s six batsmen.
Taimur Ali unbeaten on 41 and Yasir Shah (four not out) will resume Balochistan’s innings.