Faizan leads Northern fightback with brisk double century
KARACHI: Middle-order batsman Faizan Riaz scored a sensational double century to lead Northern’s stunning fight back against Sindh in their four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy fixture at the National Stadium, Karachi, on Monday.
Northern, who won the toss and opted to bat first, were jolted early on in their innings as Sohail Khan and Tabish Khan removed the top-order cheaply leaving Northern reeling at 15 for three inside the first six overs. Sohail took two wickets, while Tabish took one.
At this stage, Faizan started the repair work with an attacking approach and remained undeterred in his stroke play throughout his innings. Faizan reached the three-figure mark off 91 balls with 15 fours and one six.
The right-handed batsman added 143 runs for the fourth wicket with Shoaib Ahmed Minhas (49 off 74 balls, six fours).
Faizan reached the second double century of his career off 188 balls. By that time Faizan had struck 26 fours and three sixes in 188 minutes of batting.
Faizan was eventually dismissed by Mir Hamza for 211 off 200 balls; his eventual boundary tally was 27 fours and three sixes.
Faizan added 178 runs for the sixth wicket with Ali Sarfaraz (60 off 124 balls, seven fours).
From 336 for four, Northern stuttered to 367 for eight. All-rounder Hammad Azam held the lower-order together with an unbeaten 50 off 64 balls (five fours, three sixes).
When play was called-off after 87 overs, Northern had reached 396 for eight in their first innings.
Southern Punjab had reached 243 for five against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa when bad light stopped the opening day’s play at the Abbottabad Stadium.
Second-placed Southern Punjab were piloted by opener Umar Siddiq when he recorded his second half-century of the tournament scoring 88. Umar, who faced 201 balls and hit nine fours and a six, now has taken his tally of runs to 381.
Umar added 91 runs for the first wicket with Sami Aslam (38). He put on 51 for the second wicket with Zeeshan Ashraf (25).
When play ended, Sohaib Maqsood and Salman Ali were at the crease at 38 and two, respectively. For Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ahmed Jamal was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 22-7-53-3.
Half-centuries by Azeem Ghumman and Imran Butt had Balochistan at 232 for two against Central Punjab at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium before play had to be called off due to bad light.
Opener Azeem and one-drop Butt stitched a 92-run partnership for the visitors after Balochistan were asked to bat by Central Punjab captain Ahmed Shehzad.
Azeem scored a solid 140-ball 72, which included a 71-run opening partnership with Awais Zia (44).
The 28-year-old right-handed batsman cracked 10 boundaries in his 200-minute stay at the crease.
After Awais was dismissed, Butt ensured Balochistan’s innings stayed on track as he scored 77 not out from 119 balls. The 23-year-old had smashed 11 fours
Captain Imran Farhat was 30 not out at the other end.
For Central Punjab, right-arm medium-fast bowlers Mohammad Ali and Ehsan Adil took a wicket each. Only 60.2 overs were bowled on day one.