KARACHI: Defending champions Central Punjab tightened their grip on Sindh on the third day of the sixth round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (First Class) four-day fixture at the National Stadium here. Friday.
Chasing a tough target of 43,432, Sindh struggled for 152-4 in 50.5 overs on stumps in their second innings.
Opener Sharjeel Khan scored 89 off 138 balls before being run out, hitting 11 fours and three sixes. After the other three batsmen failed to make an impact, Saad Ali (26 *) and Shehzar Mohammad (24 *) were fighting as they fought. Saad hit four fours off 33 balls, while Shehzar hit four fours off 79 balls. Waqas Maqsood, Hassan Ali and Qasim Akram took one wicket each.
On the fourth day, Sindh needs to score 280 runs.
After taking a strong lead of 184, Central Punjab resumed their second innings 96-5 and were bowled out for 247. Ahmed Safi Abdullah, best known for his spin bowling, demonstrated his batting prowess by scoring 83 not out off just 60 balls, an astonishing six sixes and six fours. This was his first first-class fifty in 24 innings. He was given excellent support by Waqas Maqsood (32), as they both shared 68 runs in the last wicket.
Waqas hit five fours in 45 balls. Spinner Abrar Ahmed scored 4-40 in 10 overs. Shahnawaz Dhani scored 3-59 in 18 overs and Mohammad Omar scored 2-56 in 12 overs.
Here at the SBP Ground, Balochistan was on the verge of defeat against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as they were winning 164-6 in 4.00 overs in 400 overs.
Ali Waqas scored 44 off 105 balls, hitting two fours and a six. Owais Zia contributed 43 runs off 69 balls which included four fours and a six. Ayaz Taswar (17 *) and Omid Asif (8 *) were on the crease at stumps.
Muhammad Wasim (2-48) and off-spinner Sajid Khan (2-3-4) bowled well.
Balochistan needs 236 runs to win.
After taking a 200-run lead, KP resumed their second innings 98-3 and piled up 199 runs in 60 overs.
Batting on 50 on Thursday, Israrullah walked away with 86 runs. The left-arm opener hit eight fours and two sixes in 144 balls. He added 77 for the fourth wicket with Adil Amin who hit five fours in 32 off 92 balls. Adil was not out on Thursday the 18th. KP lost their last seven wickets within 63 runs.
Left-arm middle-order fast bowler Taj Wali lost the match 5-57 in 18 overs with the help of 7-134. Khurram Shehzad got 2-47 for the match of 6-127. Left-arm spinner Jalat Khan claimed 2-36.
Here at the UBL Sports Complex, South Punjab set a target of 200 for the North which will start the chase on Saturday (today).
South Punjab, who had taken a 96-run lead in the first innings, resumed their second innings at 19 for no loss and were bowled out for 295 in 93.2 overs.
Salman Ali Agha scored 89 runs. The experienced all-rounder faced 121 balls and hit nine fours and a six. He added 137 for the fifth wicket association with Imran Rafique, who scored 61 off 152 balls with 11 fours.
Left-arm spinner and captain Noman Ali led from the front with a score of 6-107 against 8-158.