Faizan makes it count with second successive ton

Published October 28, 2021
MULTAN: Southern Punjab opener Tayyab Tahir plays 
a shot during his unbeaten knock of 181 against Balochistan at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.—APP
MULTAN: Southern Punjab opener Tayyab Tahir plays a shot during his unbeaten knock of 181 against Balochistan at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.—APP

KARACHI: Faizan Riaz is one of those first-class cricketers who has been making steady progress over the years with really asserting himself.

The 33-year-old on Wednesday hit purple patch for the second straight game — and innings — as the Northern right-hander showed his fondness for Gaddafi Stadium with another century at the start of second-round action in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

Northern were in dire straits against Central Punjab as they lost two wickets, including ex-Pakistan left-hander Umar Amin, with the score on 19 when Faizan arrived in the middle.

Fresh from his 115 against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, also in Lahore, Faizan made it count yet again as he hit up 146 while guiding Northern to 281-3 by close of play.

While Faizan (221 balls, 13 boundaries) dominated, the priceless contribution of Sarmad Bhatti was equally vital to the team cause. The left-hander played a steady hand of 81 in the unfinished partnership which is already worth 202 runs while Central Punjab skipper Azhar Ali tried seven bowlers, including himself, but all in vain.

But Faizan’s heroics were superseded by Southern Punjab’s Tayyab Tahir, who struck a jackpot against Balochistan in Multan with a maiden first-class hundred.

The 28-year-old opening batter hammered an undefeated 181 (227 balls, 19 fours and four sixes) as Southern Punjab posted 344-3 at the Multan Cricket Stadium. Imran Rafiq scored 81 while adding 191 for the third wicket with Tayyab.

Test discard Asad Shafiq failed for the second straight innings when the right-hander was dismissed for a golden duck by Pakistan reject Imran Khan at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad.

Openers Khurram Manzoor (8) and Sharjeel Khan (4) also departed cheaply but the left-handed duo of Saad Khan and skipper Fawad Alam came to the rescue as Sindh recovered from 16-3 to reach stumps at 260-4 against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Saad, 21, scored a career-best 129 (195 balls, 14 fours and one six) and Fawad, who is batting on 94 (nine fours), put on 191.

Close of scores on Wednesday (day one of four):

Second round:

At Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore: NORTHERN 281-3 in 80 overs (Faizan Riaz 146 not out, Sarmad Bhatti 81 not out, Nasir Nawaz 46) vs CENTRAL PUNJAB.

At Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad: SINDH 260-4 in 79.3 overs (Saad Khan 129, Fawad Alam 94 not out; Imran Khan 2-37) vs KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA.

At Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan: SOUTHERN PUNJAB 344-3 in 81.3 overs (Tayyab Tahir 181 not out, Imran Rafiq 81, Umar Siddique 32, Zain Abbas 30) vs BALOCHISTAN.

Published in Dawn, October 28th, 2021

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