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QeAT: Faisalabad, Karachi Whites register wins in the first round

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Faisalabad registered their first victory of the season, after chasing 186 on the final day of the first round of the QeAT 2023-2024, while Karachi Whites won over Peshawar by a margin of 116 runs.

Lahore Whites and Lahore Blues drew their game at Gaddafi Stadium after the former could not bowl out the latter in the second batting innings. FATA and Rawalpindi match also ended in a draw.

In the third game of the ongoing QeAT, Multan started the day at 155-5 after 52 overs, leading by 119 runs. After amassing 66 runs in the first session, they were bowled out for 221.

Faisalabad was thus asked to chase 186 on the final day. Openers Mohammad Huraira and Azeem Ghumman set the tone for the chase by going for a 63-run partnership. Even as wickets fell, the side remained in command of the chase without faltering.

Experienced batter Asif Ali, retaining his form from the previous batting innings, scored an unbeaten 42 which secured the game for his side.

They won the game by five wickets after chasing the target in 51.3 overs.

Meanwhile, in another game of QeAT, Lahore Blues stood at 61-2 in 26 overs, at the start of the day’s play, with Rizwan Hussan and Umar Siddiq at the crease.

A 92-run-stand between Umar and Rizwan, followed by a 47-run-stand between Umar and Hussain Talat helped Imran Butt-led side recover the deficit caused by the mammoth total accumulated by the opposition.  An unbeaten century by the prodigal Qasim Akram effectively took the side into the lead.

With the Blues at 329-8 in their second innings in the last session of the game, it was deduced that the game would not have a definitive conclusion.

The captains shook their hands as a draw was called.

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In the second match of the QeAT, Karachi began the day with Sarfaraz Ahmed at the crease alongside Aftab. The scorecard read 249-6. After getting to 329, Sarfaraz declared the innings, inviting Peshawar to chase 360 in the final innings of the game.

Peshawar, chasing a big total, had a shaky start; opener Israrullah failed to score more than one run and captain Sahibzada Farhan was removed after scoring 28 runs. Although a 68-run-stand between Kamran Ghulam and Waqar Ahmed helped their side gain some momentum, it was short-lived with the specialist spinner Abrar Ahmed getting both of them out before they could produce any significant damage.

The Sahibzada-led team could not sustain any solid partnerships after that and kept faltering on the crease. Sajid Khan, who had retired hurt earlier, came to bat at the end, Batting alongside Imran Khan Snr, the spinner tried to keep the game alive for his side.

Eventually, they were bowled out for 244 runs, with the Sarfaraz-led side seizing a 116-run victory.

In the fourth QEAT match, Rawalpindi started the day at 16-0 after batting for eight overs the previous day. Chasing a mammoth total of 400 in the final innings, the Umar Waheed-led team had a stellar start to their innings.

The openers Hasan Raza (79) and Abdul Fasih (65) had a brilliant partnership, expanding for 140 runs before Zeeshan Ahmed provided the breakthrough. Despite losing wickets periodically, Rawalpindi’s scorecard kept flowing. A half-century from Haider Ali and a 33-run-knock from Mubasir Khan helped their case.

Although the Khushdil-led team countered the plans set in motion by the opposition, Rawalpindi were determined not to give in. A four-wicket haul by Akif Javed destabilized Rawalpindi but not sufficiently enough to bring out their loss.

With Rawalpindi at 293-7 after 98 overs, stumps were called and the match was drawn.

READ: Asia Cup 2023: Pakistan make five changes to the Playing XI for Sri Lanka fixture

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