Umar cracks ton for Central Punjab; KP defeat Balochistan


LAHORE: Umar Akmal scored his first hundred of the season and Salman Butt produced a fighting knock to put Central Punjab in control against Sindh on day-three of their four-day eighth round Quaid-e-Azam Trophy first-class match at the National Stadium here on Wednesday.Umar (117 off 122 balls) and Salman (81 off 154 balls) produced an unbeaten third wicket stand of 185 runs to give their team an overall lead of 114 runs. When stumps were drawn, Central Punjab were 207-2 in their second innings.Umar came in to join Salman with his team reeling at 22-2 and he proceeded to counter-attack with a series of spanking shots to rattle the bowlers. He didn’t spare any bowler as he raced to his 16th career century from just 85 balls with the help of 14 fours and three sixes.Salman, who batted with a bruised thumb in his left hand, battled on as he also reached the 34th fifty of his first-class career.The visitors found themselves in a strong position on a result-oriented pitch thanks to a five-wicket haul by experienced pacer Aizaz Cheema who finished with 5-81 to wrap up Sindh’s first innings for 339 runs soon after lunch.Sindh, resuming on 255-4, fell apart once Aizaz broke a 93 runs stand between skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and Fawad Alam.Aizaz bowled superbly to get the wickets of Sarfaraz (58), who was bowled through the gate, and Anwar Ali (5), who also had his stumps rattled. After lunch, Aizaz dismissed Sohail Khan (26) caught at deep long on and Tabish Khan for no run.Fawad, after scoring a fighting 65 from 129 balls with seven fours, was bowled by Waqas Maqsood before Bilal Asif (4-73) grabbed the wicket of Mohammad Umar for six.Here at the UBL Sports Complex, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa secured their maiden win of the tournament when they defeated Balochistan by a whopping margin of an innings and 122 runs.After they were bowled out for 146 on Tuesday in reply of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s first innings 385 all out, Balochistan were asked to follow-on at the start of day three with a 239-run deficit.Junaid Khan (1-17) and Usman Shinwari (2-9) made early inroads to reduce Balochistan to 15-3.The problems amplified for the batting side when Sajid Khan was introduced into the attack. The off-spinner ran through Balochistan’s middle-order, taking 4-45 in 11 overs.Bismillah Khan (40) and Jalat Khan (22) delayed the inevitable with a 52-run partnership for the seventh-wicket.Once the pair was back in the pavilion, thanks to Sajid, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain Fakhar Zaman picked up the last two wickets to finish the match.Meanwhile, a collective effort from Northern bowlers had Southern Punjab following-on at KRL Stadium, Rawalpindi.Southern Punjab could add only 119 runs to their overnight score as they were all out for 268 in reply to Northern’s imposing 463-7.Shadab Khan was the pick of the bowlers with 3-33 runs, while Waqas Ahmed took 2-53. Resuming his innings at 58, opener Umar Siddiq added only two runs to his overnight score, while his partner Mohammad Irfan made 37 off 65 balls.Adnan Akmal was the only other notable contributor with the bat for Southern Punjab as he scored 45 runs off 66 balls, hitting seven fours.With Southern Punjab 195 runs behind Northern’s first innings score, the latter enforced the follow-on.Shadab dismissed Sami Aslam (14), however, Umar Siddiq (39*) and Zeeshan Ashraf (21*) avoided further damage to drag their side to 76-1 at stumps.
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