Faisalabad spinner Ahmed Safi Abdullah bagged an eight-wicket haul on the second day of play of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (QeAT) 2023-2024, effectively backing the Multan batting line-up which, in turn, folded for 233 in the first innings.
Bowling at the Shoaib Akhtar Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi, Ahmed produced an inspiring performance with the ball.
Multan started the second day of their QEAT campaign at 145-2 after having played 43 overs the previous day. Batters Imran Rafiq and Sharoon Siraj were at the crease the time play started, however, both of them lost their wickets early in the day.
Multan were bowled out for 233, with the Faisalabad bowler Ahmed Safi Abdullah putting on a show. He got eight wickets in the innings and remained a challenge too big for the Multan batting line-up, who struggled against his bowling.
Faisalabad had a rocky start to their batting innings. The opening partnership, which yielded 40 runs, was the steadiest one until the fifth-wicket partnership between Muhammad Irfan Khan and Asif Ali, which went for 68 runs.
At the end of the day, Faisalabad were 178 for the loss of five wickets with Asif Ali and Ahmed Safi Abdullah at the crease.
In the first match of the QEAT, Lahore Blues began the day with the score at 247, having lost seven wickets during the innings thus far. With only one more run scored, the Whites had bowled out the Blues.
Fast bowler Ahmed Bashir bagged a four-wicket haul, while Aamir Jamal had three wickets to his name.
Whites lost their opener, Ali Zaryab Asif, early on which brought the veteran duo of Ahmed Shehzad and Abid Ali on the crease.
However, Abid too was removed just after scoring seven runs. It was eventually the sixth-wicket partnership between Hamza Akbar and Saad Nasim, that brought stability to their innings. Saad’s century brought confidence back to the batting side.
At the end of the day’s play, Lahore Whites stood at 254-7 after having batted most of the day.
At the start of Day 2 of their first-round QEAT fixture, Karachi Whites were comfortably placed at 267-6, with captain Sarfaraz Ahmed at the crease.
Showing his expertise, Sarfaraz churned out a gritty half-century which brought Karachi to a respectable total of 332.
Mohammad Ilyas got four wickets in the innings, and his efforts were complemented by Sajid Khan, who bowled at an economy rate of 2.26 and got three wickets as well.
Peshawar had a dream start to their innings. A 127-run stand for the first wicket put them in control.
Particularly, a magnificent 85 produced by Sahibzada Farhan put pressure on the Karachi bowlers.
However, once the partnership was broken, and another quick wicket followed, Karachi’s bowling staged an impressive comeback, getting Kamran Ghulam and Israrullah in successive overs.
At the end of the day, Peshawar stood at 231 for the loss of five wickets.
In the fourth QEAT fixture, FATA were 196 for the loss of five wickets when the day’s play began. Sameen Gul and Mohammad Wasim Khan, who resumed from their overnight score, lost their wickets without damaging the opposition.
Mohammad Sarwar Afridi and Zeeshan Ahmed tried to stitch together a solid partnership to keep FATA’s score flowing.
Particularly, Sarwar’s 76 put FATA in a good position, before they were bowled out for 318. Bilawal Bhatti’s four wicket haul countered the opposition’s batting, keeping them at bay.
Rawalpindi suffered an early blow with their opener Hassan Raza out cheaply, followed quickly by Ashfaq Ahmed. Haider Ali too was removed just after scoring four runs.
Abdul Faseeh and Mubasir Khan knitted a partnership to ward off the blows. The two remained the highest scorers of the side by the end of the day but Rawalpindi found themselves in a spot of bother once this partnership was broken, rapidly losing wickets.
They closed the day at an abysmal 129 at the expense of eight wickets lost.