Haider hits double century before Haris sets Northern on top

KARACHI: Haider Ali provided an eye-catching start to Northern after pacer Haris Rauf helped the side restrict Central Punjab for 223/8 on the second day of their ongoing fixture in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (QEAT) at NBP Sports Complex here on Wednesday.

Central’s batters struggled in response to Northern’s 445, as the team lost eight wickets for 223 at stumps. Their openers were also unable to get the team off to a good start, with Rizwan Hussain being dismissed on 7 by Haris Rauf. Imran Dogar and Ali Zaryab began to rebuild the innings but fell short when Dogar was dismissed on 43. When the score was 113, Zaryab (37) was also sent back to the pavilion.

Hussain Talat and Muhammad Saad looked solid as the pair added 70 runs to the team total before Saad was dismissed on 38 by Haris. Talat (51) was also on his way back to the pavilion after reaching a half-century. The rest of the batters were unable to contribute significantly to the team’s score. On day three, Usman Qadir and Waqas Maqsood will take over the proceedings.

Northern’s pick of the bowlers was Haris, who dismissed six batters before stumps. Ather Mehmood and Mubasir Khan each struck out a batter.

Batting first, Northern batters struggled to get off to a good start in their first innings, losing opener Zaid Alam (12) for 23 after he was dismissed by Mohammad Ali. However, Mohammad Huraira and his skipper, Umar Amin, put up a solid stand and kept their team out of trouble, as both batters scored half-centuries. Before being ejected, the duo contributed 96 runs to the team’s total. Northern lost both batters with the score at 119. Huraira scored 54, whereas, Amin scored 50.

The momentum appeared to have shifted Central’s way, but Haider’s masterful innings changed the game’s parameters. He scored a magnificent first-class double-century to put his side in command, scoring 206 off just 294 deliveries, including 27 boundaries and four sixes. Faizan Riaz, who batted alongside Haider, also delivered a solid performance, scoring 67 runs off 233 deliveries. The remaining batters were unable to make a significant contribution, and the team was bowled out for a massive total of 445 in the first innings.

Central’s Ali was the standout bowler as he bagged three wickets. Usman Qadir and Ahmed Safi Abdullah both struck out two batters.

At the toss in one of the matches of the seventh round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2021-22, Central’s captain – Ali Zaryab – won the toss and put Northern into bat.

Northern are currently in fourth place on the points table. Central, on the other hand, is in second place.

On the other hand, table-toppers Sindh, are in trouble against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the second match of the ongoing round of QEAT, having been bowled out for 145 in the first innings. Arshad Iqbal of KPK bagged a five-fer. In response, KPK were bowled out for 265, taking a 120-runs lead. Musaddiq Ahmed was their standout batter, scoring 75 runs. Asif Afridi (50) also contributed with a half-century. Sohail Khan finished with a five-wicket haul. Mir Hamza, on the other hand, took three wickets for Sindh.

Sindh are looking comfortable in the second innings after starting poorly and losing two wickets, as their skipper Asad Shafiq and Khurram Manzoor stood up, added 126 runs to the team’s total after the side lost two wickets for just 11. Arshad and Irfanullah Shah each struck out a batter. Asad (50*) and Khurram (59*) will resume the proceedings for Sindh at 137/2 on day-3.

In another seventh-round match, Balochistan is trailing Southern Punjab by 207 runs to 483. Southern, batting first, struggled to get off to a good start, as the team’s openers were lost cheaply. This did not bother them much, as Salman Ali Agha (135), Zeeshan Ashraf (102) and Yousuf Babar (119*) all hit centuries to put their team in command. Salman, on the other hand, remained his team’s top scorer.

Khurram Shahzad and Akif Javed both had three wickets to their names. Kashif Bhatti claimed two wickets. Gohar Faiz and Najeebullah Achakzai, on the other hand, each dismissed a batter.

Balochistan responded poorly, losing two quick wickets for 28 runs, including Imran Butt and Umar Akmal, who returned to professional cricket after a 21-month absence. Shan Masood, on the other hand, played a gritty knock and scored a brilliant century before being dismissed by Ali Usman on 105. Ayaz Tasawar (58*) and Bismillah Khan (57) also contributed significantly to their team’s resurgence. On day three, the two half-centurions will resume for Balochistan at 276/4.

Ali and Amir Yamin each struck out two batters.

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