KARACHI: Central Punjab’s Abdullah Shafique and Northern teenager Abdul Faseeh struck centuries as the 2022-23 edition of the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy kicked off at three different venues on Tuesday.
Pakistan Test opener Abdullah will be eyeing a double ton when he arrives at the crease with 189 not out — his highest first-class score — against his name on the second day, with Central Punjab looking to add to their first innings total of 358-6 against Sindh at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi.
All-rounder Aamer Yamin unbeaten on 61, struck off just 66 balls (six fours and two sixes) was Abdullah’s partner in the undefeated sixth-wicket stand of 120.
Sindh pacer Asif Mehmood, who was a touch expensive, leaking 109 in 18 overs, took three wickets on his debut The highlight of the Trophy’s opening day, however, was Faseeh’s 151 off 158 against Southern Punjab at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium. It was the 19-year-old’s maiden century in only his second first-class outing.
Faseeh smashed 20 fours and four sixes in his knock, helping Northern finish the day at 379-4 and secure four batting points. The side will secure maximum batting points if they manage to reach the 400 mark in the next eight overs.
The left-handed Faseeh combined for a 188-run second-wicket stand with Test batter Umar Amin (89 off 151), who missed out on a century by 11 runs. Both batters fell out to all-rounder Hassan Khan, who conceded 68 runs on the first of the four-day match. Hassan also dismissed Faizan Riaz.
Last year’s player of the tournament Mubasir Khan was unbeaten at 74 off 98 with Sarmad Bhatti playing at 35.
In Abbotabad, Balochistan were 324 for five in 89 overs against defending champions Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as Azeem Ghumman top-scored with 78 off 144. Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, one of the top batters in the domestic circuit, continued to impress as he made 69 in 83 and Ali Waqas was not out on 55 off 117 at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium.
After the fall of Imran Butt, Azeem and Bangalzai added 133 runs for the second wicket.
Scores in brief:
Northern choose to bat against Southern Punjab at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad
NORTHERN 379-4 in 92 overs (Abdul Faseeh 151, Umar Amin 89, Mubasir Khan 74 not out, Sarmad Bhatti 35 not out; Hassan Khan 3-68)
Sindh opt to bowl against Central Punjab at Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
CENTRAL PUNJAB 358-6 in 90 overs (Abdullah Shafique 189 not out, Aamer Yamin 61 not out; Asif Mehmood 3-109)
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa opt to bowl against Balochistan at Abbottabad Cricket Stadium
BALOCHISTAN 324-5 in 89 overs (Azeem Ghumman 78, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai 69, Ali Waqas 55 not out).
Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2022