Northern, Balochistan seal first round victories in QEAT 2022-23

FAISALABAD: Northern’s Musa Khan and Mehran Mumtaz stormed through the Southern Punjab’s (SP) middle order on the final day to aid their side seal a comprehensive 10-wicket win in the first round of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (QEAT) 2022-23.

SP batter Imran Rafiq put up a strong resistance with a valiant 90-run knock amid a dismal show by the lower order as SP were bowled out on 265 in the second innings after the side was forced a follow by Northern on day 3.

Southern Punjab avoided the innings defeat with a narrow margin as they managed five more runs than their trail and forced Northern batters to come out on the crease for the second time in the match.

Musa and Mehran bagged three wickets to dismantle the Southern Punjab batting order while Kashif Ali took a wicket. Earlier Mubashir Khan got rid of Souther Punajb openers on day 3.

Meanwhile, Balochistan beat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) by 134 runs in another first-round match as Khurram Shehzad led the charge to bundle out KP in the second inning while chasing a 370-run target.

Shehzad picked three crucial wickets as he got rid of set batsman Kamran Ghulam (61) before getting rid of Adil Amin (9) and skipper Khalid Usman (22) to help his team seal a comprehensive win in their opening game.

Akif Javed and Bilawal Bhatti each picked two wickets and while Asad Shafiq and Hussain Talat took a scalp apiece.

Shaibzada Farhan, on the other hand, played a valiant knock of 63 off 67 and remained the top-scorer for KP.

Earlier, Balochistan declared their second innings on 187/5 and put KP to bat. Hussain Talat scored a brilliant half-century before Amad Butt made a quick unbeaten 26 off 16 to put Balochistan in a comfortable lead.

However, at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Central Punjab batter Tayyab Tahir starred on the final day as he smashed an unbeaten 152 runs against Sindh before the match ended in a draw.

For Sindh, Mir Hamza ran through the CP’s lower order and picked three wickets while Asif Mehmood returned the figures 4/59.

Sindh went through a dismal start in the second innings as opener Saim Ayub (5) and skipper Saud Shakeel (7) fell cheaply after they were put to bat by CP as they declared their second innings on 277/9.

Following an early collapse, opener Khurram Manzoor and Omair Younus built a 57-run partnership on the fourth wicket to avert any mishap in the game.

Sindh closed the final day’s play on 132/4 with Fawad Alam and Saad Khan going not out on 15 and 10, respectively.

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