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October 26, 2020

Tabish gives early edge to Sindh over Central Punjab


October 26, 2020

KARACHI: Highly experienced pacer Tabish Khan had a glorious start to the season when he took 5-44 to give an early edge to hosts Sindh when they reduced holders Central Punjab to 205-9 in their first innings on the opening day of the first round four-day fixture of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (first-class) here at the National Stadium on Sunday.

Tabish worked extremely hard and did not give any room to the Central Punjab's batsmen to dominate. After removing opener Ali Zaryab (6), Tabish had well-set Mohammad Saad (51) in the final session before blowing the tail in the culminating overs of what was a difficult day for the visitors.

This was the 38th time that the 35-year old right-armer took five wickets in an innings. This is his 129th first-class show and he took his wicket-tally to 573. He is yet to play for Pakistan.

After being invited to bat by Sindh's skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, Central Punjab's batsmen failed to build solid partnerships. Only Ahmed Shehzad (69) and Mohammad Saad (51) showed some resolve but they also fell at a stage when their team needed them to stay out there. The duo added 50 runs for the fourth wicket association. Shehzad, who fell prey to Fawad Alam, clobbered seven fours in his 155-ball 31st fifty in his 81st first-class game. He stayed for 228 minutes at the crease.

Gujranwala-born Saad utilised 142 balls for his 23rd fifty which came in his 94th outing.

Kamran Akmal (24) also struggled on the slower but tricky track. He tried to hit medium pacer Hasan Mohsin over mid-off fielder but could not clear Fawad Alam who took an easy catch. Kamran hit four fours from 42 balls.

Skipper Azhar Ali (11) and Usman Salahuddin (11) also failed to play solid knocks.

Tabish was backed by Mir Hamza, spinner Mohammad Asghar, Hasan Mohsin and Fawad Alam, who claimed one wicket each.

At UBL Sports Complex, Bismillah Khan (112*) and Kashif Bhatti (98) shared 160 for the sixth wicket to take Balochistan to 310-7 in their first innings at stumps against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

At one stage, Balochistan were gasping at 109-5. However, Bismillah, who scored his third first-class century, and Kashif displayed fine batting skills to take their side to a good total. Bismillah hammered 12 fours in his 200-ball knock. Kashif struck 19 fours in his 126-ball glorious innings.

Earlier, Test discard Sami Aslam played according to his test temperament, scoring 56 off 97 balls, with six fours and two sixes.

Seamer Junaid Khan (2-43), Imran Khan (2-52) and Ahmed Jamal (2-54) bowled well.

At NBP Sports Complex, Southern Punjab were in the driving seat against last season's runners-up Northern as they gained nine runs lead with nine wickets in hand.

Northern were folded for only 165 in their first innings which lasted for only 48.4 overs.

Umar Amin (29), Faizan Riaz (29), Sarmad Bhatti (25), Zeeshan Malik (24) and Hammad Azam (24) made small contributions.

Leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood got 4-41 in 9.4 overs, while off-spinner Agha Salman captured 3-34 in 13 overs.

In response, Southern Punjab were 174-1 at stumps with skipper Shan Masood batting on 80. Shan hit ten fours in his glorious unbeaten knock which came off 120 balls. He scored 85 for the opening stand with Umar Siddiq, who chipped in with 57-ball 40 which featured three fours. Shan then shared 89 for the second wicket with Hussain Talat, who is batting on 53. Hussain had hit seven fours and two sixes in his commanding 54-ball unfinished feat.

Nauman Ali (1-54) dismissed Umar Siddiq.