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QeA Trophy: Zahid Mahmood spins Southern Punjab to an innings victory

Zahid crossed the 100-wicket mark and now has 102 wickets at an average of 39.12 in the four-day format

Photo Courtesy: PCB

Wrist spinner Zahid Mahmood capped a perfect two-and-a-half days for Southern Punjab as they carved out a convincing innings and 96 runs victory over Northern in the first round match of the four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy fixture at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Dadu-born spinner followed up his first innings figures of 9.4-2-41-4 with a career-best 14.1-3-57-6 to record match figures of 23.5-5-98-10, his maiden 10-wicket haul in 40 first-class matches since making his debut in 2009.

On way to his six-fer, Zahid crossed the 100-wicket mark and now has 102 wickets at an average of 39.12 in the four-day format.

His performance with the red Kookaburra ball has come after he finished as the ninth most successful bowler in the National T20 Cup with 12 wickets.

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Northern, trailing by 342 runs on the first innings and resuming the third day at 31 for three, were sent packing for 246 with Hammad Azam finishing as the top-scorer with a 117-ball 79 that included eight fours and two sixes.

He became one of Zahid Mahmood’s victims, who also picked up the scalps of Faizan Riaz (36), Asif Ali (39), Nauman Ali (32), Salman Irshad (0) and Waqas Ahmed (0).

From this fixture, Southern Punjab collected 28 points, including 16 for an outright win, one for an innings victory, five for batting and six for bowling. In contrast, Northern had to settle with two bowling points.

In the second round fixture, which will start on Saturday, 31 October, Southern Punjab will take on Balochistan in a televised match at the National Stadium, while Northern will stay at the NBP Complex where they will take on Central Punjab.

At the UBL Sports Complex, Balochistan were sensing a victory against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who finished the penultimate day’s play at 133 for four after being set a target of 413.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in their run-chase, had slipped to 29 for three but Adil Amin (56 not out) and Kamran Ghulam (51) added 104 runs for the fourth wicket to keep their side’s slim hopes alive.

Earlier, Balochistan resumed their second innings at the overnight score of 34 for one and declared at the score of 217 for eight. Notable run-getters for Balochistan were Sami Aslam (48), Taimoor Ali (41 not out), Yasir Shah (41), Imran Farhat (29) and Abdul Rehman Muzammil (22).

Sajid Khan was the pick of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bowlers, returning innings figures of 24.5-0-78-5. This was 27-year-old’s fourth career five-fer in 24th match.

Fawad Alam stroked his 28th Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, third in succession and 35th overall, as Sindh and Central Punjab fixture was delicately poised in the National Stadium broadcast match, produced by the PCB.

Fawad, resuming at his overnight score of 90 in Sindh’s 196 for six, was dismissed after scoring 115 that helped the home side to 239 to grab a slim but crucial 32-run lead. When stumps were drawn for the third day, Central Punjab were 120 for four to lead the home side 88 runs with six wickets standing.

Usman Salahuddin (35) and Mohammad Saad (26) will resume Central Punjab’s second innings on Wednesday. The two batsmen have already added 64 runs for the unfinished fifth wicket after Mohammad Umar and Mohammad Asghar had grabbed two wickets apiece to reduce the visitors to 56 for four.

Fawad, who recorded his 10th century at the National Stadium, faced 250 balls during a 388-minute vigil at the crease. He hit nine fours. Together with Tabish Khan (24), Fawad put on 117 runs for the seventh wicket that saved Sindh’s blushes after they had slipped to 113 for six.

The good news for Central Punjab and Pakistan was the performance of star fast bowler Hasan Ali. Returning after a lay-off due to back injury, Hasan sent down 21.3 overs and was rewarded with three wickets for 40 runs.

However, Waqas Maqsood was the most impressive Central Punjab bowler when he grabbed four wickets for 56 runs. Ahmed Bashir took two for 56, while Ehsan Adil picked up one wicket.

Scores in brief (day three of four):

At the NBP Complex, Southern Punjab beat Northern by an innings and 96 runs

Northern (1st innings) 165 all out, 48.4 overs (Faizan Riaz 29, Umar Amin 29, Sarmad Bhatti 25, Hammad Azam 24, Zeeshan Malik 24; Zahid Mahmood 4-41, Salman Ali Agha 3-34) and 246 all out (Hammad Azam 79, Asif Ali 39, Faizan Riaz 36, Nauman Ali 32; Zahid Mahmood 6-57, Mohammad Abbas 2-44)

Southern Punjab (1st innings) 507-9d , 113.1 overs (Hussain Talat 253, Shan Masood 134, Umar Siddiq 40, Bilawal Bhatti 31; Nauman Ali 4-153, Athar Mehmood 3-86)

Match points: Northern 2; Southern Punjab 28

At the NSK, Sindh won the toss and elected to bowl first

Central Punjab (1st innings) 207 all out, 86.4 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 69, Mohammad Saad 51, Kamran Akmal 24; Tabish Khan 5-44) and 120-4 (Usman Salahuddin 35 not out, Mohammad Saad 26 not out, Azhar Ali 29; Mohammad Umar 2-20, Mohammad Asghar 2-35)

Sindh (1st innings) 239 all out, 105.3 overs (Fawad Alam 115, Khurram Manzoor 35, Tabish Khan 24; Waqas Maqsood 4-56, Hasan Ali 3-40, Ahmed Bashir 2-56)

First innings points: Central Punjab 3; Sindh 6

At the UBL Sports Complex, Balochistan won the toss and elected to bat first

Balochistan 362 all out, 110.2 overs (Bismillah Khan 118, Kashif Bhatti 98, Sami Aslam 56, Khurram Shehzad 37; Sajid Khan 3-96, Junaid Khan 2-53, Ahmed Jamal 2-70, Imran Khan Snr 2-72) and 217-8d (Sami Aslam 48, Taimoor Ali 41 not out, Yasir Shah 41, Imran Farhat 29, Abdul Rehman Muzamil 22; Sajid Khan 5-78)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (1st innings) 167 all out, 46.5 overs (Khalid Usman 57 not out, Kamran Ghulam 42, Sajid Khan 27; Khurram Shahzad 5-27, Yasir Shah 4-94) and 133-4 (Adil Amin 56 not out, Kamran Ghulam 51; Kashif Bhatti 2-42)

First innings points:  Balochistan 9, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 2