Khyber Pakhtunkhwa neared their second consecutive win of the tournament as they had Central Punjab reeling at 13 for four in the chase of 325 on day three of the four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy ninth round fixture at NBP Stadium, Karachi
Lahore (Pakistan Point News - 27th Nov, 2019) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa neared their second consecutive win of the tournament as they had Central Punjab reeling at 13 for four in the chase of 325 on day three of the four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy ninth round fixture at NBP Stadium, Karachi.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had entered the ongoing contest at the back of a comprehensive win over Balochistan – by a margin of an innings and 12 runs – and the second-ranked side are on the verge of handing Central Punjab, the table-toppers, their first defeat of the season.
That Central Punjab had lost four quick wickets – in the latter part of the evening session – was due to Usman Shinwari’s fiery spell.
The left-arm pacer bowled Salman Butt (two), night-watchman Aizaz Cheema (4) and Ahmed Shehzad (0), who registered a pair, to take three wickets for two runs in 2.2 overs before stumps were drawn.
Earlier in the session, Khyber Pakthunkhwa had declared their innings after scoring 197 runs for the loss of seven wickets after making the most of the 127-run lead they had garnered by skittling out Central Punjab for 228 in the morning session.
Central Punjab resumed their innings on 154 for five with experienced Kamran Akmal and Rizwan at the crease.
Both batsmen failed to make any further contributions as Kamran (39) added only one run to his overnight score, while Rizwan (nine) couldn’t add another run to his tally.
Usman Qadir’s unbeaten 58-ball 32 – including two fours and a six – was the only notable performance that a Central Punjab player made with the bat.
Khyber Pakthunkhwa’s Sajid took three wickets for 55 runs. Khalid Usman added another scalp to his wickets’ column to return four for 67.
Mohammad Mohsin, who had paired with Khalid to push Central Punjab on the backfoot on Tuesday, couldn’t add another wicket to his tally and returned two for 57, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s captain Fakhar Zaman took one wicket for one run.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa added another three points to their tally for dismissing the opposition inside the 110-over cut-off after gathering two points in their first innings for scoring 308 for eight in the 110-over cut-off.
Central Punjab could add only one point in their account for being in the first slab (between 200-249) of runs for the batting points. They had bagged two bowling points earlier in the match.
Khyber Pakthunkhwa’s second innings was driven by Israrullah (40), Sahibzada Farhan (36) and Zohaib Khan (31 not out).
Israrullah and Farhan cracked five fours each, while Zohaib’s smashed two fours in the 40 balls he faced.
Zohaib was joined by Khalid (21 off 22) when Khyber Pakhtunkhwa declared the innings.
Central Punjab’s Zafar Gohar once again starred with the ball as the left-arm orthodox picked up his second four-fer in the match – this one at the expense of 82 runs.
The onus of saving the match and ensuring that Central Punjab maintains impeccable record now lies on Mohammad Saad and Umar Akmal who resume their innings on one and 0 respectively on Thursday, the final of the match.
Scores in brief:
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 355 all-out, 123.3 overs (Sahibzada Farhan 96, Khalid Usman 72 not out, Mohammad Moshin 56, Israrullah 51, Ashfaq Ahmed 29; Zafar Gohar 4-143, Bilal Asif 3-98, Usman Qadir 2-60) and 197-7d, 54 overs (Israrullah 40, Sahibzada Farhan 36, Zohaib Khan 31 not out, Khalid Usman 21 not out, Fakhar Zaman 21; Zafar Gohar 4-82)
Central Punjab 228 all-out, 84.1 overs (Mohammad Saad 49, Kamran Akmal 39, Umar Akmal 34, Usman Qadir 32 not out; Khalid Usman 4-67, Sajid Khan 3-55, Mohammad Mohsin 2-57) and 13-4, 4.2 overs (Rizwan Hussain 6; Usman Shinwari 3-2, Sajid Khan 1-7)