Abid Ali scores his first century since return, Aamir Jamal records best figures
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Last year in December, Abid Ali was batting at 61 against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the UBL Sports Complex, Karachi when he was rushed to a cardiac hospital. He was diagnosed with a case of Acute Coronary Syndrome that kept him away from cricket for four months.
On Friday, batting against the same opposition, albeit at a different venue, the right-hander scored his first first-class century since returning to first-class cricket.
Abid scored a brilliant 159 off 287 balls that saw Central Punjab to 418 for seven - in reply of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s imposing 436 - at the close of third day’s at the LCCA Ground in round seven of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2022-23. Over the course of what was his 26th first-class ton, Abid struck 21 fours and two sixes in almost a six-hour-long innings that began yesterday evening.
He put 209 runs for the first wicket with Abdullah Shafique, who fell one run short of what would have been his seventh first-class century. Abdullah reclaimed the top spot as the leading run scorer (636 at 70.67) during his knock as he struck 11 fours and two sixes in his 168-ball 99. He began the day on 54 not out. Abid’s overnight score was 38.
Tayyab Tahir’s excellent form with the bat continued. He scored 62 not out off 75 balls (seven fours and two sixes) as the day belonged to Central Punjab’s batters.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain Khalid Usman was the leading wicket-taker in the innings. The left-arm orthodox took three wickets – including the two openers – for 174 runs after Central Punjab resumed their innings on 99 for none.
In Abbottabad, Northern all-rounder Aamir Jamal delivered the best bowling performance of the season against Balochistan. The right-arm medium pacer took eight wickets for 120 in 30 overs as Balochistan made 375. This was Aamir’s third five-wicket haul in 18 first-class matches and bests his previous figures of five for 38.
Aamir announced himself at the world stage during the fifth T20I against England at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore when he defended 15 off the last over on his debut despite the presence of an experienced batter in Moeen Ali at the striker’s end.
Balochistan captain Asad Shafiq put up a solid fight with 131 off 224 balls (17 fours and a six) after starting the day on 47. Haris Sohail, who occupied the other end at the start of the day, added 13 runs to his overnight 66 as he became one of Aamir’s wickets after making 120-ball 79 (12 fours).
Northern were 68 for one in their second innings. They are still 48 runs behind Balochistan.
Khurram Manzoor scored the 32nd century of his first-class career as Sindh built a commanding second innings lead of 340 over Southern Punjab at the Pindi Cricket Stadium. Khurram made 121 off 273 (15 fours) after beginning the day on 26. His partner and Sindh captain, Saud Shakeel, failed to add more to his overnight 21.
Saad Khan scored 70 off 103 balls (seven fours)
Sindh were 332 for nine and, with a solid lead in pocket, will look to make Southern Punjab bat as early as they can so they have ample time to bowl them out and secure their third win of the season.
Scores in brief:
Toss uncontested – Central Punjab opt to bowl against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the LCCA Ground
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 436 all out, 126.3 overs (Israrullah 124, Naiz Khan 65, Khalid Usman 53, Waqar Ahmed 47, Kamran Ghulam 45, Mohammad Imran 40, Sahibzada Farhan 25; Usama Mir 3-98, Ahmed Danuyal 3-115, Mohammad Ali 2-66)
Central Punjab 418-7, 110 overs (Abid Ali 159, Abdullah Shafique 99, Tayyab Tahir 62 not out, Mohammad Saad 35; Khalid Usman 3-174, Mohammad Imran 2-47)
Northern elect to bat against Balochistan at Abbottabad Cricket Stadium
Northern 259 all out, 85.2 overs (Umar Amin 130, Faizan Riaz 31; Bilawal Iqbal 5-49, Akif Javed 2-59) and 68-1, 26 overs (Abdul Faseeh 38, Mohammad Huraira 24 not out)
Balochistan 375 all out, 89.3 overs (Asad Shafiq 131, Haris Sohail 79, Imran Butt 44, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai 41; Aamir Jamal 8-120)
Toss uncontested – Southern Punjab opt to bowl against Sindh at Pindi Cricket Stadium
Sindh 210 all out, 69.1 overs (Sarfaraz Ahmed 56, Muhammad Umar 39, Fawad Alam 27, Abrar Ahmed 26, Saud Shakeel 23; Mohammad Abbas 5-50) and 332-9, 106.2 overs (Khurram Manzoor 121, Saad Khan 70, Muhammad Umar29, Asif Mehmood 24, Saud Shakeel 21; Mohammad Ilyas 3-57, Salman Ali Agha 2-31, Mohammad Abbas 2-54)
Southern Punjab 202 all out, 59.5 overs (Sharoon Siraj 35, Salman Ali Agha 231, Mohammad Ilyas 25, Azam Khan 24, Hasan Ali 21; Abrar Ahmed 6-61. Muhammad Umar 2-40, Ghulam Mudassar 2-52).