Saturday, December 3

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa beat Central Punjab by five wickets

KARACHI:Khyber Pakhtunkhwa strolled to a five-wicket win over Central Punjab on the final day of their fourth round first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy fixture here at the UBL Sports Complex.


This is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s second win of the tournament.


Adil Amin stroked his 17th first-class half-century after resuming the day on 39. The 29-year old right-handed batsman smashed 10 boundaries in his 53 off 106 balls.


Mehran Ibrahim was dismissed on 13 as he failed to add to his overnight score following which Zohaib Khan and wicketkeeper-batsman Rehan Afridi took Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the line.


Zohaib was unbeaten on 14, while Rehan’s 36 not out was studded with four fours and two sixes.


Bilawal Iqbal, who returned two for 31, took the two Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wickets, which fell on Monday. Ahmed Safi Abdullah finished with three for 87.


This is Central Punjab’s third defeat in four matches. The title defenders are positioned at the bottom of the points table.


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa pocketed 23 points (16 for outright win, one for batting and six for bowling) from the match, while Central Punjab added only five points (all for bowling).


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will travel to National Stadium to take on Northern in a broadcast match in the fifth round, which runs from 26-29 November, while UBL Sports Complex will stage the first Punjab Derby of the season as Central Punjab and Southern Punjab will come face to face at the venue.


The match between Southern Punjab and Sindh at the National Stadium ended in a draw as both sides added five points more to their accounts.


In a broadcast match, Southern Punjab were 206 for four in 62 overs in their chase of 342 when both captains – Umar Siddiq and Asad Shafiq – decided to shake hands.


Southern Punjab’s Saif Badar scored a fluent 70 not out from 100 balls and he registered his career’s second half-century at this level. The right-handed batsman crunched nine fours and a six.


Opener Zain Abbas followed his 95 in the first innings with an 89-ball 42, which included six fours, before he was dismissed by debutant Abrar Ahmed, whose leg-spin accounted for three Southern Punjab batsmen in the innings.


Imran Rafiq was the other notable run-getter with 41 from 93 balls and his stay at the crease was also curtailed by Abrar.


Abrar returned three for 80 and his figures for the match were five for 199.


Earlier, Sindh declared on 253 for six after resuming the day on 190 for three.


Saud Shakeel converted his overnight 45 into his career’s 14th half-century as he was undefeated at 70 off 125 balls.


Southern Punjab retained their position at the top of the table as they secured nine points from the match (five for securing a draw, and two each for batting and bowling). Sindh pocketed 13 points (five for draw, and four each for batting and bowling)


Umar Amin and Mohammad Nawaz helped Northern secure a draw against Balochistan at the National Bank Sports Complex.


Northern were set 394 to win. They managed 385 for eight in 84 overs.


Umar recorded his career’s 21st century with a 162-ball 123.


He joined Nawaz, who scored 180-ball 95, at the crease with Northern struggling at 62 for four courtesy Kashif Bhatti – who had dismissed three of the top four batsmen by then and finished the innings with a five-fer, his 20th at this level. The pair put a 123-run alliance for the fifth wicket.


Hammad Azam and Sarmad Bhatti made handy contributions below the order with 53 and 32 not out respectively. Kashif returned five for 159.


Northern have bagged nine points (five for draw, and two each for batting and bowling), while Balochistan pocketed 12 points (five for draw, three for batting and four for bowling).