KARACHI: While Imam-ul-Haq notched up the seventh century in the ongoing opening round of the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy competition on Monday, youngster Haider Ali had the mortification of being dismissed for 99 on his first-class debut.
On a day of mixed fortunes while two of the three fixtures are destined for stalemate, Northern braced themselves for an anxious last day after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa enforced the follow on against the visitors in Abbottabad.
The pitch at the UBL Sports Complex has proved to a heartbreaker for the bowlers as Imam matched Sindh openers Abid Ali and Khurram Manzoor while reaching three figures for Balochistan on another laborious day of cricket during which just 175 runs were accumulated from 90 overs.
Resuming at 16-0 in response to 473-5 declared made by Sindh in their first innings, Balochistan went to stumps at 191-3 with Imam dominating the proceedings. The bespectacled left-handed opener scored an unbeaten 111 from 269 balls in 396 minutes while striking 13 boundaries.
After Azeem Ghumman (21) was outfoxed by a fine delivery from slow left-armer Kashif Bhatti, Hussain Talat (13) missed out on a golden opportunity to impress Pakistan head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq when he provided Asad Shafiq with a rare wicket via a fine low catch by Abid Ali in the covers.
Balochistan skipper Haris Sohail also struggled to play his natural game as the Pakistan left-hander found himself trapped in front of the stumps by Kashif for an uncharacteristic 104-ball 24.
Kashif (2-61 in 33 overs) and Asad have so far bowled 55 overs between them with Sarfraz Ahmed almost certain to utilise the pair further on Tuesday after the pace trio of Sohail Khan, Mir Hamza and Tabish Khan all found the going strenuous with the Kookaburra ball which tends to go soft quickly.
Meanwhile, Northern still require 159 more runs to ensure Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bat again at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium after closing at 105-2 in their second innings.
Mohammad Rizwan had no hesitation in asking Imad Wasim’s men to bat again after Northern were bowled for 262 in the first innings while replying to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s huge total of 526-9 declared.
The Attock-born Haider, who has been a success story while representing Pakistan Under-19 in the last couple of years, fell one short of a deserved century on his debut in big time cricket.
Northern were well placed at 109-1 at draw of stumps on Sunday with Haider batting on 56. But Monday turned out to be a torrid day as they lost eight wickets for 109 runs after being 153-2. Haider’s 208-ball 99 in a stay of 297 minutes included 11 fours and a brace of sixes.
The bowling honours were shared with Pakistan paceman Junaid Khan (3-40 in 14.3 overs) and spinning all-rounder Zohaib Khan (3-21 in 15 overs) sharing six wickets between them.
Mohammad Yaqoob adds from Lahore: Despite their top order firing with Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal all reaching half-centuries, Central Punjab are in serious danger of conceding first innings lead to Southern Punjab at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Central had posted 348-5 and need a further 119 to match 467 totalled by Southern in their first innings.
Azhar and Ahmed extended their overnight stand of 47 to 130 before the former fell to seamer Aamir Yamin for a 157-ball 73 (10 boundaries). Ahmed then became the first of three victims for Test left-arm pacer Rahat Ali. The opener, who along with Umar Akmal were named on Monday among probables for Pakistan’s upcoming ODI and T20 fixtures against Sri Lanka, departed for 63 (168 balls, eight fours).
Umar brightened the day’s play with a stroke-filled 89 from only 118 balls as the pugnacious right-hander struck 10 fours and two sixes before being caught behind by older sibling Adnan Akmal off Rahat, who had earlier dealt Central a body blow by removing their young skipper and Pakistan new vice-captain Babar Azam for just three.
Kamran, the oldest of the Akmal brothers, also looked in fine nick with a spate of boundaries after hitting seven of them in a 35-ball 33, the former Pakistan wicket-keeper was caught behind by Umar Siddique who was forced to don the gloves after Adnan hurt his ankle.
Mohammad Saad — who had replaced the injured Usman Salahuddin under ICC-formulated concussion substitution ruling — and Faheem Ashraf are Central Punjab’s last hopes for a lead. They are batting on 41 and 30, respectively.
Close of play scores on Monday (day three of four):
At UBL Sports Complex, Karachi: SINDH 473-5 declared in 169.5 overs (Abid Ali 249 not out, Khurram Manzoor 105, Sarfraz Ahmed 44 not out, Asad Shafiq 37; Yasir Shah 3-127); BALOCHISTAN 191-3 in 98 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 111 not out, Haris Sohail 24, Azeem Ghumman 21; Kashif Bhatti 2-61).
At Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore: SOUTHERN PUNJAB 467 in 134 overs (Sami Aslam 243 not out, Adnan Akmal 113, Aamir Yamin 64; Waqas Maqsood 4-83, Hasan Ali 3-100, Bilal Asif 2-116); CENTRAL PUNJAB 348-5 in 108 overs (Umar Akmal 89, Azhar Ali 73, Ahmed Shehzad 63, Mohammad Saad 41 not out, Kamran Akmal 33, Faheem Ashraf 30 not out; Rahat Ali 3-34, Aamir Yamin 2-57).
At Abbottabad Cricket Stadium, Abbottabad: KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA 526-9 declared in 136.4 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 176, Ashfaq Ahmed 106, Adil Amin 73, Iftikhar Ahmed 35, Fakhar Zaman 33, Sahibzada Farhan 29, Junaid Khan 28; Shadab Khan 4-151); NORTHERN 262-1 in 90.3 overs (Haider Ali 99, Imad Wasim 33, Afaq Raheem 25, Umar Amin 20; Zohaib Khan 3-21, Junaid Khan 3-40, Mohammad Irfan 2-69) and 105-2 in 39 overs (Umar Amin 32 not out, Haider Ali 27, Rohail Nazir 21 not out, Afaq Raheem 21).
Second XI, first round results (final day of three):
At NBP Sports Complex, Karachi: Match drawn.
BALOCHISTAN 183 in 70.1 overs (Awais Zia 71, Nazar Hussain 21 not out, Rameez Raja 20; Hassaan Khan 4-34, Danish Aziz 2-40) and 227-9 declared in 112.5 overs (Gulraiz Sadaf 73 not out, Taimur Ali 56, Akbar-ur-Rehman 44, Awais Zia 25; Danish Aziz 3-42, Jaahid Ali 2-6, Hassaan Khan 2-72); SINDH 235 in 72.5 overs (Saifullah Khan Bangash 72 not out, Rameez Raja Jr 48, Mohammad Waqas 23; Jalat Khan 3-52, Shahzad Tareen 2-26, Nazar Hussain 2-41, Gohar Faiz 2-63) and 25-0 in 8 overs.
At Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad: Match drawn.
CENTRAL PUNJAB 253 in 83 overs (Mohammad Ikhlaq 135, Ali Zaryab 38, Irfan Khan Niazi 35; Zulfiqar Babar 5-103, Agha Salman 3-45) and 177 in 53.2 overs (Mohammad Irfan Khan 37, Bilawal Iqbal 30, Zahid Mansoor 28; Zulfiqar Babar 5-94, Mohammad Irfan Jr 2-49; SOUTHERN PUNJAB 173 in 76.4 overs (Naved Yasin 57, Agha Salman 24, Zulfiqar Babar 20; Ahmed Safi 7-77, Aizaz Cheema 2-15) and 146-6 in 49 overs (Naved Yasin 50, Zeeshan Ashraf 34, Zia-ul-Haq 28 not out; Aizaz Cheema 3-26, Ahmed Safi 2-49).
At KRL Stadium, Rawalpindi: Match drawn.
NORTHERN 282-8 in 83 overs (Faizan Riaz 156 not out, Jamal Anwar 41, Umair Khan 31; Khalid Usman 5-70) and 156-5 in 70overs (Sardar Hasan Raza 75, Shehzad Azam Rana 48; Ahmed Jamal 2-22, Khalid Usman 2-49); KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA 246 in 80.2 overs (Mohammad Naeem 108, Mehran Ibrahim 47; Raza Hasan 7-55, Shehzad Azam Rana 3-66).
Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2019