Saim Ayub and Shan Masood’s splendid batting vaulted Karachi Whites to 398 for the loss of just two wickets on the opening day of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (QEAT) 2023-24 final against Faisalabad at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
Saim remained unbeaten on 200 at stumps with Omair Bin Yousuf the other batter not out at two. Shan contributed with a remarkable 180 before getting out while opening batter Khurram Manzoor made three runs.
In the five-day final of the country’s premier first-class tournament, QEAT, Faisalabad captain Faheem Ashraf won the toss and decided to field first.
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Khurram Manzoor’s dismissal off the bowling of Khurram Shahzad in the fifth over of the day seemed to lift Faisalabad but Shan and Saim soon conjured a riveting counterattack.
The second-wicket stand yielded a mammoth 367 runs in 403 deliveries with Shan and Saim Ayub punishing the Faisalabad bowlers all over the park.
Shan Masood recorded the 24th first-class ton of his career, smashing 13 boundaries and seven sixes along his 182-ball stay at the crease that was ended by Arshad Iqbal.
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Saim Ayub also scored his runs briskly, belting 22 fours and two maximums in his 244-ball 200 not out. This was Saim’s second first-class century, having scored his maiden ton earlier in the tournament against Multan at Shoaib Akhtar Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi.
Faisalabad will be hoping for a better outing on the second day after only Khurram Shahzad and Arshad Iqbal were their successful bowlers on day one as Karachi Whites maintained a run-rate of 5.10.
For the unversed, persistent rain in the region, the first three days of play across the four venues of the QEAT 2023-24 were massively affected and thus no definitive results could be produced on the final day of round seven of the tournament, with all four games ending in draws.
Consequently, Faheem Ashraf’s Faisalabad and Sarfaraz Ahmed’s Karachi Whites topped the points table after the conclusion of the seventh round.