KARACHI: Zain Abbas scored 94 as Multan posted 196-3 by the end of the first day of their Quaid-e-Azam Trophy third-round match against Lahore Whites at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Friday.

Rawalpindi, meanwhile, had a jittery start against Peshawar in Abbotabad, as Pakistan international Sajid Khan’s two wickets reduced them to 46-3 in 19 overs before rain stopped play.

The inclement weather in Rawalpindi allowed only 20 overs to be bowled between Faisalabad and Lahore Blues, with the former struggling at 53-3, thanks to two wickets by pacer Ali Shafique.

The opening day of the clash between Fata and Karachi Whites, also in Rawalpindi, was washed out completely.

At the iconic Gaddafi Stadium, Zain smashed 12 boundaries and a six in his 149-ball knock before pacer Ahmed Daniyal got him caught behind.

The next-best batter for Multan was Sharoon Siraj, who occupied the crease by the early close of play due to rain.

Sharoon was unbeaten at 33 off 74 balls, his innings so far studded by four boundaries.

Zain’s opening partner Zeeshan Ashraf added 24 before becoming Mohammad Irfan’s victim. Irfan also got the wicket of first drop Imran Shafiq, who managed only 17 off 46 balls.

Hamayun Altaf was not out along with Sharoon with 15 against his name.

At the Abbotabad Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi were shaken when Peshawar pacer Niaz Khan struck to get opener Hasan Raza before Sajid cleaned up Abdul Faseeh and Ashfaq ahmed cheaply.

Three down at 21, the incoming Umar Waheed (13 off 32), Rawalpindi’s captain, and Mubasir Khan (11 off 30) dragged their team to 46-3.

Faisalabad had a similar start to their innings against Lahore Blues at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Their highly-rated opener Mohammad Huraira was the only Faisalabad batter to provide some resistance with 36 off 52 balls — his innings including five fours — before being dismissed by Nisar Ahmed.

Shafique removed Huraira’s opening partner Awaiz Zafar and number three batter Abdul Samad for nought.

Abubakar Khan and Ali Shan were not out at the crease with 12 and 4 against their names by the close of the day’s play.

Published in Dawn, September 23th, 2023

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