Seamer Waqas Maqsood stole the limelight with a rich six-wicket haul as bowlers overwhelmingly dominated the second day’s action in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy clash between Central Punjab and Sindh at the National here on Thursday.
Central Punjab, who are defending their crown but after currently struggling at bottom of six-team standings, secured an unexpected lead of 184 runs on the first innings when Sindh inexplicably folded up for a paltry 92 all out with left-armer Waqas tormenting them throughout to claim six for 25 in 10.3 overs.
Barring Sharjeel Khan (14), captain Asad Shafiq (13), Saad Ali — the top-scorer with 17 — and Mir Hamza (16), no one else reached double figures while wicket-keeper Ali Shan excelled by holding five catches.
Earlier, Central Punjab lost their remaining first-innings wickets for the addition of 44 runs before losing the same of number of wickets late in the day to reach draw of stumps at 96-5 in their second innings, while enjoying an overall lead of 280 at the halfway point in this sixth-round match.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa obtained a commanding lead of exactly 200 by dismissing Balochistan for 120 in their first innings at the SBP Sports Complex.
The solitary Balochistan batsman to offer resistance was stand-in skipper Bismillah Khan who returned undefeated on 50. The wicket-keeper’s 60-ball knock included six fours and a six, while bowling honours for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were shared by their pace trio of Irfanullah Shah (4-41), Mohammad Wasim (3-24) and Sameen Gul (3-54).
Kamran Ghulam earlier departed just four runs shy of equalling his highest first-class score — 157 not out — when he got for 153 (253 balls, 18 fours and two sixes as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa added 28 to their Wednesday’s tally of 292-9 with Khurram Shehzad taking the prized scalp of Kamran to finish with 4-80 in 19.5 overs.
Long-discarded Pakistan left-hander Umar Amin helped Northern take a healthy 96-run lead on the first innings at the UBL Sports Complex as the 31-year-old slammed 102 — his 22nd century in first-class cricket — a team total of 381 all out. Umar’s 156-ball effort was embellished with 11 fours and a brace of sixes.
Hammad Azam, like Umar another Pakistan reject, hammered a breezy 91 with the all-rounder’s 95-ball innings laced with 13 boundaries and two sixes.
Also read; Sindh Captain Sarfraz Ahmed records 12th first-class ton
Opener Sarmad Bhatti and Mohammad Nawaz (43) were the other notable run-getters for Northern, while leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood emerged as the most successful wicket-taker for Southern Punjab with figures of 4-120 from 26 overs.
By close of play, Southern Punjab had made 19 without loss in their second innings to trail by 77 runs.
Close of play scores on Thursday (day two of four):
First XI, sixth round:
At National Stadium, Karachi: CENTRAL PUNJAB 276 in 103.2 overs (Usman Salahuddin 80, Ali Zaryab 56, Saad Nasim 44, Mohammad Saad 41, Hasan Ali 26 not out; Tabish Khan 3-37, Mir Hamza 3-58) and 96-5 in 29.4 overs (Mohammad Akhlaq 56; Abrar Ahmed 2-1, Mohammad Umar 2-15); SINDH 92 in 29.3 overs (Saad Ali 17; Waqas Maqsood 6-25, Bilawal Iqbal 2-17).
At UBL Sports Complex, Karachi: SOUTHERN PUNJAB 285 in 86.3 overs (Umar Siddique 89, Saif Badar 81, Agha Salman 53, Aamir Yamin 26, Zeeshan Ashraf 25; Sadaf Hussain 3-45, Munir Riaz 2-39, Nauman Ali 2-51) and 19-0 in 6 overs; NORTHERN 381 in 83 overs (Umar Amin 102, Hammad Azam 91, Mohammad Nawaz 43, Sarmad Bhatti 41, Nasir Nawaz 36, Munir Riaz 23 not out; Zahid Mahmood 4-120, Zia-ul-Haq 2-70).
At SBP Sports Complex, Karachi: KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA 320 in 89.5 overs (Kamran Ghulam 153, Rehan Afridi 58, Khalid Usman 27; Khurram Shehzad 4-80, Umaid Asif 3-88, Taj Wali 2-76); BALOCHISTAN 120 in 33 overs (Bismillah Khan 50 not out, Awais Zia 28; Irfanullah Shah 4-41, Mohammad Wasim 3-24, Sameen Gul 3-54).