Salman Ali Agha’s century keeps Southern hoping

KARACHI: Southern Punjab’s Salman Ali Agha scored a brilliant century to help his side avoid a possible disaster against Northern.

In the third match of the ongoing ninth round of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy (QEAT), Southern started poorly as the side lost their first wicket for just 33 runs.

Tayyab Tahir was the dismissed batter, who could only score 14. Soon after, the side lost two more wickets in quick succession and slipped to 65/3.

Salman, however, was impressive, the batter was looking to build partnerships but, no other batter held on for long. Salman scored a brilliant 142 off 183 balls, laced with 23 boundaries and a six.

Salman’s valiant batting display assisted Southern to put 238 runs on the board in their first inning. Zeeshan Ashraf scored 24 and was the top scorer for the side after Salman.

Northern’s Nauman Ali wreaked havoc on the Southern batters, picking six wickets, while Ather Mahmood and Mubashir Khan each took two wickets.

In reply to Southern’s 238, Northern started horrifically, losing their first two wickets for just nine runs. Muhammad Huraira bagged a duck, while, last match centurion, Sarmad Bhatti, could only score four.

Zaid Khan then looked to build a partnership with his skipper Umer Amin, but, he too dismissed. Zaid could only score 20, and the Northern were three down for 41.

Umer and Faizan Riaz then neutralized the situation as both the batters ensured that their side do not lose any wickets. Umer (17*) and Faizan (10*), will resume the proceedings for Northern at 54/3 on day two.

Muhammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, and Muhammad Ilyas each took a wicket for Southern.

In the second match of the ninth round, Central Punjab’s bowlers annihilated the Sindh batting lineup as the table-toppers were forced to declare at 155/9 in the first inning.

Batting first, Sindh started poorly, losing two wickets for just four. Khurram Manzoor scored one, while Ahsan Ali could only score three.

The side began to lose wickets at a consistent rate and were slipped to 51/6. Fawad Alam and Sohail Khan, showed fightback, the pair recorded 64 runs partnership before Fawad dismissed on 32.

Sindh’s batting tail also failed, and the side, eventually, declared at 155/9. Sohail top-scored for his side with a gritty 65.

Muhammad Ali and Muhammad Saad, starred for their side, picking three wickets each. Whereas, Waqas Mahmood, Faheem Ashraf and Ahmed Safi Abdullah each dismissed a batter.

In response to Sindh’s 155, Central’s start was not any different, losing first two wickets for just 16 runs. Soon after, the side lost their batter, Ali Zaryab, who could only score 12.

Abid Ali, however, stood firm for his side and remained not-out for his 45 before the stumps.

Abid (45*) and Saad (11*) will resume the proceedings for Central at 78/3 on the second day.

Sohail, Tabish Khan and Mir Hamza each took a wicket for Sindh.

In another match of the ongoing round, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) bowlers fired at each other as 22 wickets fell on the first day.

Batting first, KPK batters struggled to get going and were dismissed one after another at an alarming rate, none of their batter could fightback and the side, eventually, bundled out for just 116 in the first inning.

Taj Wali and kashif Bhatti claimed four wickets each, while Gohar Faiz and Raza Ul Hassan shared one wicket apiece.

In response to KPK’s 116, Balochistan showed even worse batting display, having bowled for a skimpy 100 in their first inning.

Arshad Iqbal starred for KPK, picking up four wickets, while Imran Khan Sr., Sameen Gull Asif Afridi took two wickets each.

Starting with a 16-runs lead, KPK failed again and lost two wickets for just 11 runs in the second inning. Israr Ullah and Sahibzada Farhan, both batters could only score four.

Ashfaq Ahmed remained not-out on 3, and will now resume the innings with Kamran Ghulam for KPK at 17/2 on the second day.

READ: Central, KPK clinch round eight matches in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy