Northern and Central Punjab dominate ninth-round draws
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The ninth round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2022-23 concluded at the National Bank Cricket Arena (National Stadium, Karachi) and the LCCA Ground, Lahore today (Thursday). Northern and Sindh played out a draw in Karachi while the Central Punjab-Balochistan tie also ended in a stalemate. The match between Southern Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the Abbottabad Stadium was abandoned without a single ball bowled due to persistent rain and a wet outfield. No play was possible on any of the four days.
At the National Bank Cricket Arena (National Stadium, Karachi), Sindh resumed their first innings from the overnight score of 345 for five (97.2 overs). Seasoned campaigner Sarfaraz Ahmed completed his 13th first-class century in the first session of the day. The right-hander scored 102 off 131 balls (11 fours, one six) before falling to off-spinner Mubasir Khan.
Sarfaraz added 218 runs for the sixth-wicket with Omair Bin Yousuf. Omair, the centurion from yesterday was dismissed for 150 off 293 balls (17 fours).
Sindh were bowled out for 476 in 144.4 overs, Northern collected a 129-run first innings lead. Northern captain and left-arm spinner Nauman Ali took five wickets for 130 while Mubasir finished with three for 65.
Northern then scored 101 for one in 26 overs before stumps were drawn for the final time in the match. Opener Mohammad Huraira followed his first innings century with an unbeaten 58 off 66 balls (eight fours). Umar Amin scored 41. Zahid Mehmood took the only wicket to fall in Northern’s second innings.
Over at the LCCA Ground, Balochistan resumed their first innings at 219 for four. They lost their last six wickets for the addition of 99 runs to concede a 31-run lead. Hussain Talat fought hard on day-four with an unbeaten 76 off 103 balls (eight fours, four sixes). Left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar completed his five-fer, he ended the innings with figures of 33-8-94-5. Off-spinner Bilal Asif took three wickets.
Central Punjab batters Abdullah Shafique and Muhammad Saad registered unbeaten half-centuries as the match ended in a draw. Abdullah who is the leading run-scorer of the ongoing season scored 55 off 126 balls (eight fours) while Saad contributed 57 off 143 (five fours, one six). Kashif Bhatti with one for 40 was the only wicket-taker for Balochistan.
Scores in brief:
Sindh vs Northern – match drawn at the National Bank Cricket Arena (National Stadium Karachi)
Northern 605 for eight (declared), 154.5 overs (Mohammad Huraira 173, Umar Amin 140, Hasan Raza 135; Zahid Mehmood 4-185, Abrar Ahmed 3-231) and 101 for 1, 26 overs (Mohammad Huraira 58 not out, Umar Amin 41; Zahid Mehmood 1-28 )
Sindh 476 all out, 144.4 overs (Omair Bin Yousuf 150, Sarfaraz Ahmed 102, Saim Ayub 60, Saud Shakeel 43; Nauman Ali 5-130, Mubasir Khan 3-65)
Central Punjab vs Balochistan – match drawn at the LCCA Ground, Lahore
Central Punjab 349 all out, 96.5 overs (Qasim Akram 111, Faheem Ashraf 60, Ali Shan 53, Zafar Gohar 41, Bilal Asif 26; Akif Javed 4-97, Kashif Bhatti 2-59, Bilawal Iqbal 2-63, Yasir Shah 2-74) and 126 for 1, 49 overs (Mohammad Saad 57 not out, Abdullah Shafique 55 not out; Kashif Bhatti 1-40)
Balochistan 318 all out, 99.3 overs (Imran Butt 80, Hussain Talat 76 not out, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai 43, Imam-ul-Haq 43; Zafar Gohar 5-94, Bilal Asif 3-64)
Match abandoned due to rain and wet outfield - Southern Punjab vs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium.