Abrar, Ahsan shine to put Sindh in command

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Nov 25, 2021

LAHORE: Sindh took complete control of their Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2021-22 sixth-round clash against Balochistan on day-one of the four-day fixture at the UBL Sports Complex in Karachi.

After rolling over Balochistan for 96 courtesy leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed’s maiden five-wicket first-class haul and pacer Sohail Khan’s four-fer, Sindh openers Ahsan Ali (119 not out) and Khurram Manzoor (94) added 199 runs for the first-wicket to all but end Balochistan’s hopes of a comeback in the match.

Sindh won the toss and opted to bowl first against Balochistan at the UBL Sports Complex, Balochistan got off to a poor start as Sindh bowlers dominated the first session. Lunch was taken with Balochistan placed at 67 for four.

Fast bowler Sohail Khan made the inroads before lunch and it was the Abrar show post-lunch as Balochistan were sent packing for 96. Captain Imran Butt (33) was the only Balochistan batter to offer some resistance.

Abrar finished with a five-wicket haul conceding 23 runs in 5.5 overs as Balochistan lost their last six wickets for 19 runs. Sohail took four wickets for 26 runs from his nine overs. Sindh collected the full (six) bowling points on offer.

In reply, Khurram Manzoor and Ahsan took the Balochistan bowlers to the cleaners with a dashing 199-run first-wicket stand. Khurram hit 12 fours and three sixes in his 94 off 129 balls before falling to spinner Jalat Khan.

Ahsan who has already scored a triple-century this season, posted the fifth century of his first-class career. The 27-year-old was unbeaten on 119 off 131 balls (19 fours) when stumps were drawn for the day. Ahsan will resume his innings tomorrow in company of Omair Bin Yousuf who is batting on 15, Sindh have already accumulated a 133-run first innings lead.

Meanwhile, the blazing Khurram-Ahsan partnership has already ensured at least one batting point for Sindh.

In the Punjab derby between Central and Southern Punjab, Southern got off to a shaky start and took lunch at 53 for two with pacer Waqas Maqsood taking the two wickets to fall in the first session with only 15 runs on the board.

Opener Umar Siddiq and Salman Ali Agha held the innings together in the first two session adding 133 runs for the third-wicket. Salman scored 61 off 141 balls with the help of five fours. The left-handed Umar contributed 85 off 187 balls (11 fours, one six). After their departure, the floodgates opened as Southern Punjab lost wickets at regular intervals to fold for 228 in 77 overs.

Central Punjab were zero for no loss when stumps were drawn for the day.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa opted to bowl after an uncontested toss at the NBP Sports Complex against Northern.

Northern were rocked early in their innings and took lunch at 64 for four, Arshad Iqbal took two of the four wickets to fall in the opening session.

Northern youngsters Mohammad Huraira and Mubasir Khan led their side’s fight back with an 83-run fifth-wicket stand.

Northern were bowled out for 250 in 83.4 overs, they earned two batting points for posting 250 in their first innings while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa five bowling points.

At close, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were zero without loss in their first innings.