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Asad Shafiq lets his bat do the talking after New Zealand tour snub

Middle-order batsman is looking to regain his form and impress the national team selectors once again

PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Pakistan Test batsman Asad Shafiq scored his 24th first-class century on the opening day of the fourth round of the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy against Southern Punjab at the National Stadium in Karachi.

Shafiq, who was dropped from the Pakistan Test side for the first time in 10 years ahead of New Zealand tour, is looking to regain his form and impress the national team selectors once again.

Sindh were 289/5 at stumps on day one with Shafiq scoring 123 runs, retired, while top-order batsman Omair Bin Yousuf added unbeaten 129 runs.

Sindh, who won the toss and decided to bat first, were 37/3 at one stage with Sharjeel Khan (5), Jahid Ali (3) and Saud Shakeel (9) departing in quick succession but Yousuf and Shafiq stitched a brilliant 228-run partnership for the fourth wicket to help their side recover from a precarious situation.

For Southern Punjab, Ziaul Haq claimed two wickets while Bilawal Bhatti and Zahid Mehmood bagged one wicket each.

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Southern Punjab won their first two matches before losing their last match to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by 75 runs and are currently at the top of the table with 55 points.  

Meanwhile, Sindh are placed on fourth position, 36 points, with a win and defeat, along with a draw, in their opening three games.

Scores in brief:

At UBL Sports Complex, Central Punjab won the toss and elected to bat:

Central Punjab 158 all out, 66.2 overs (Usman Salahuddin 54, Bilal Asif 22, Ahmed Safi Abdullah 20; Sajid Khan 4-56, Imran Khan Snr 3-29, Khalid Usman 2-35)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 61-4, 21 overs (Israrullah 25, Musadiq Ahmed 22; Waqas Maqsood 2-17, Bilal Asif 2-26)

Points to date: Central Punjab 1, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 6

At the National Stadium, Sindh won the toss and elected to bat:

Sindh 289-5, 83.2 overs (Omair Bin Yousuf 129 not out, Asad Shafiq 123 retired hurt; Zia-ul-Haq 2-41)

Points to date: Sindh 2, Southern Punjab 1

At the National Bank Sports Complex, Northern elected to bowl (toss uncontested):

Balochistan 257-5, 87 overs (Azeem Ghumman 95, Ali Waqas 52, Bismillah Khan 26 not out, Taimur Ali 26, Imran Farhat 24; Nauman Ali 3-70)

Points to date: Balochistan 2, Northern 1