QAT: Northern trail against Balochistan: Adnan, Zia put Southern Punjab in control

QAT: Northern trail against Balochistan: Adnan, Zia put Southern Punjab in control

KARACHI: A solid unbeaten hundred from Adnan Akmal and a three-wicket spell from Zia-ul-Haq enabled Southern Punjab to take control of their four-day ninth round outing of the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy (first-class) against Sindh here at National Stadium on Tuesday.

On the second day Test stumper Adnan stroked his way to 107 from 152 balls with 14 fours, his second century of the season.

It was Adnan’s innings and his ninth wicket partnership of 66 with Umaid Asif (37 from 54 balls) that allowed Southern Punjab to declare their first innings on 517-9 after lunch. Resuming at 344-5 Southern lost Agha Salman when Anwar Ali removed him. Anwar finished with 5-75 from 25 overs. Adnan, who resumed on 36, however, stayed like a rock and found an able partner in his captain Bilawal Bhatti who scored 45 from 65 balls with six fours and a six. Their 79-run seventh-wicket stand subdued Sindh’s attack.

When Sindh came out to bat they were in immediate trouble. Left-arm pacer Zia-ul-Haq (3-49) bowled well on what appeared a batting track as he got the ball to move late away from the right handers and combined with Adnan Akmal in three dismissals. His first victim was Jaahid Ali (6), who was out trying to pull a short-pitched delivery down the leg-side while later Shehzar M (5) and Khurram Manzoor (14) were caught behind off big edges.

Khurram went after a 45-ball vigil at the crease before he also chased one outside the off-stump. Adnan’s catch to dismiss Shehzar was a spectacular one as he dived in front of first slip to complete the dismissal. At 34-3, Sindh were in dire trouble. However left-handers Saad Ali (56 from 94 balls with seven fours) and the experienced Fawad Alam (60 from 101 balls with seven fours) produced an unbroken stand of 108 to ensure there was no more damage. When stumps were drawn Sindh were 142-3 in 44 overs.

Meanwhile at UBL Sports Complex here, Northern were trailing Balochistan by three runs after making 297-5. Northern entered the second day with authority to wrap-up the Balochistan innings on 300 in 90.2 overs. Imran Farhat-led outfit added only 29 runs to their overnight score of 271-8 which granted them three batting points. Umar Gul hit his third first-class fifty, hammering 51 off 87 balls which also included eight fours and a six. Left-arm pacer Sadaf Hussain and left-arm spinner Nauman Ali got four and three wickets respectively to add three bowling points to the team’s account. Umar Amin’s 69 off 83 balls, laced with nine fours and a six, held Northern’s innings together despite Balochistan taking two wickets to have the visitors reduced to 78-2 at lunch. Umar Gul chipped in to dislodge Faizan Riaz (19). Amin, however, carried on the momentum to stitch a notable stand of 65 with Sarmad Bhatti (83 not out) before being bowled by Taj Wali.

An unbeaten 101-run partnership for the sixth-wicket between Sarmad and wicket-keeper-batsman Jamal Anwar (61 not out) had Northern in command when stumps were drawn. Faizan Riaz (19) and Hammad Azam (11) were the other two Northern wickets to fall on the second day. Sarmad cracked nine fours and a six in 155 balls while Jamal has dispatched seven balls for boundaries. Here at NBP Sports Complex M Moshin and Khalid Usman handed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa control against Central Punjab. Their half-centuries helped KP to post 355 all out before they shared five wickets to have the table-toppers struggling at 154-5. The pair knitted a 119-run ninth-wicket partnership to help the visitors recover from a middle-order collapse which saw them slip to 220-8. Both had resumed their innings at the scores of seven. Khalid Usman scored an unbeaten 72, cracking six fours and a six in his 104-ball stay. Mohsin made 56 from 103 balls, smashing five fours. Khalid and Mohsin took the score to 308-8 by the end of the 110th over which enabled KP bag three points while Central Punjab added only two points to their tally. Zafar Gohar and Bilal Asif, who picked up four and three wickets on the opening day, failed to add to their wickets’ tally. It was the leg-spin of Usman Qadir (2-60) which broke Khalid-Mohsin partnership. Mohsin’s leg-spin and Khalid’s slow left-arm orthodox helped KP make early inroads when Central Punjab came out to bat. Both Central Punjab openers Ahmed Shehzad (0) and Salman Butt (13) were back with only 28 runs on the board. A 50-run stand between M Saad (49) and Umar Akmal (34) denied the spin duo any further inroads.

Khalid got 3-30 while Mohsin claimed 2-44. For Central Punjab Kamran Akmal (38*) and young Rizwan Hussain (9*) were at the crease at stumps.

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