Usman Salahuddin's side in a fix in round-four match
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) were in the driving seat against defending champions Central Punjab (CP) at the close of the second day’s play in their fourth round match in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2020-21 in Karachi on Saturday.
KP began the proceeding on their overnight score of 61-4 in reply to CP’s first innings total of 158 all out.
They added 175 runs to their score before being dismissed for 236 in 81.3 overs. A 92-run captain’s knock by Khalid Usman, which included 10 boundaries and two sixes, proved to be the team’s saving grace.
Kamran Ghulam made 43 with the help of six boundaries and a four.
Waqas Maqsood and Bilal Asif picked up three wickets each for the side while Ahmed Safi Abdullah bagged two wickets for Usman Salahuddin’s unit.
Things did not improve for the defending champions in the second innings as they were reduced to 65-5 courtesy of a four-wicket haul by Sajid Khan.
Separately, Omair Yousuf’s brilliant performance with the bat helped Sindh build a sizable lead over Southern Punjab.
The side began play at 289-4 with the right-handed batsman unbeaten at 129. He went on to complete his 150 before getting dismissed for 153 with 15 boundaries to his name.
Zahid Mahmood was the pick of the bowlers for the Punjab side as he returned with figures of 4-84 while Zia-ul-Haq and Mohammad Imran took two wickets each.
In reply, a half-century by opener Zain Abbas anchored the side to 148-2 when stumps were drawn. His unbeaten 75-run knock included 10 boundaries. He also put on an 81-run partnership with Imran Rafiq (42) for the second wicket.
Veteran pacer Tabish Khan took the two wickets for Asad Shafiq’s unit.
Northern were playing hard to get as they trailed Balochistan by 222 runs in their first innings with more than half of their side dismissed.
Balochistan, who began the day at 257-5, were anchored to 418 all out in their first innings as Ayaz Tasawwar and Kashif Bhatti raised their bats for half centuries.
Tasawwar was the top scorer with 71 which included 11 boundaries. Bhatti, on the other hand, hit five fours and a six on his way to a 54-run knock.
Northern captain Nauman Ali returned with figures of 4-129 in 46 overs.
Northern found themselves struggling at 5-3 at one stage but Faizan Riaz stepped up to the challenge with a crucial half-century. He was dismissed for 78 after hitting 12 boundaries a maximum while Mohammad Nawaz, Asif Ali and Hammad Azam made 39, 36 and 34 respectively.
Taj Wali and Kashif Bhatti picked up two wickets each for Balochistan.