KARACHI: PIA’s batsmen endured a tough outing at the start of their third-round President’s Trophy Grade-I National Cricket Championship fixture against Port Qasim Authority (PQA) before recovering to 242-6 at draw of stumps at the National Stadium here on Monday.
After being asked to bat first by PQA skipper Khalid Latif on the opening day of the four-day fixture, were severely put to test by the new-ball pairing of Test bowlers Mohammad Sami and Abdur Rauf. With the score on 21, Shahzar Mohammad was caught by Mohammad Talha off Sami for eight. Agha Sabir (12) followed two runs later, falling LBW to Rauf.
PIA — taking the field for the second straight match without their injured batsman Faisal Iqbal — then ran into further trouble as Sami, playing his first game of the home season, accounted for Fahad Iqbal who was caught behind by Mohammad Salman for seven to leave his side in dire straits at 32-3.
Skipper Kamran Sajid and Shaharyar Ghani carried the total to 70-3 at lunch before both departed after the interval to the fiery Sami. Kamran was bowled for 35 (74 balls, seven boundaries), while fellow left-hander Shaharyar was caught by Salman for 27.
With PIA reeling at 108-5, PQA were right on top. But Shoaib Khan and wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed had other ideas and formed the day’s biggest partnership — 102 in 140 minutes before Sarfraz’s fighting 85-ball knock was ended by the occasional military medium-pacers of Umar Amin.
Sarfraz provided Salman his third catch after striking seven fours in scoring 53.
Shoaib continued the good work to end the day with a resolute 61 off 170 deliveries in a stay of 214 minutes with only three hits to the ropes. The other batsman at the crease was Tahir Khan on 17.
Sami has so far taken four for 48 in 18 overs.
State Bank enjoyed a good day at the UBL Sports Complex to restrict hosts United Bank to 229-9 at close of play after electing to field first. Barring opener Fahim Qureshi (48 with five fours) and the 27-year-old Faisalabad-born right-hander Mohammad Sami (60 not out off 106 balls, seven boundaries), it was a struggle for the remaining batsmen.
Adnan Rasool, the 31-year-old Faisalabad-born off-spinner, returned career-best figures of 5-50 in 30 tidy overs. Medium-pacer Rizwan Haider took 3-49.
Two of the three matches in Punjab fell prey to bad weather as rain and poor light saw no play at all between Habib Bank and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) in Lahore and Wapda versus Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) clash in Faisalabad.
In the only other fixture where some action was possible, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) reached 111-3 in 33.4 overs against struggling National Bank at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot.
After put into bat, SGPL made a decent start through Test openers Mohammad Hafeez (43 off 52 balls, seven fours) and the left-handed Taufiq Umar (22) who together added 70. But National Bank hit back with pacemen Uzair-ul-Haq trapping Hafeez LBW and Mohammad Imran Khan getting rid of Taufiq and Azhar Ali (12).
At stumps, Umar Akmal had made 19 while skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, who bagged a pair against KRL last week, was batting on five.
Close of play scores on Monday (day one of four):
At National Stadium, Karachi: PIA 242-6 in 82 overs (Shoaib Khan 61 not out, Sarfraz Ahmed 53, Kamran Sajid 35; Mohammad Sami 4-48) v PORT QASIM AUTHORITY.
At UBL Sports Complex, Karachi: UNITED BANK 229-9 in 86 overs (Mohammad Sami 60 not out, Fahim Qureshi 48; Adnan Rasool 5-50, Rizwan Haider 3-49) v STATE BANK.
At Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore: HABIB BANK v ZTBL — No play because of rain and bad light.
At Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad: WAPDA v KRL — No play because of rain and bad light.
At Jinnah Stadium, Sialkot: SNGPL 111-3 in 33.4 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 43; Mohammad Imran Khan 2-33) v NATIONAL BANK.