KP take charge of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final


Muhammad Babur


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bowlers, led by pacer Irfanullah Shah, bowled their side to a position of strength on the second day of the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final against defending champions Central Punjab who were reduced to 212 for eight in reply to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s first innings score of 300 at stumps on Saturday.
Central Punjab’s innings started poorly as openers Muhammad Akhlaq (4) and Ali Zaryab (8) were dismissed by Irfanullah and they took lunch at 29 for two.
Usman Salahuddin and Mohammad Saad added 64 runs off 157 balls for the third-wicket before the latter was caught behind by wicketkeeper Rehan Afridi for 26 (79 balls, three fours).
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain Khalid Usman made the crucial breakthrough when he dismissed Central Punjab batting mainstay Usman for 60 off 130 balls (nine fours). Usman’s crucial wicket fell with the score at 124 in the 47th over. Usman added 48 runs for the fourth-wicket with Saad Nasim.
Saad Nasim reached his fifth half-century of the tournament before he was sent packing by Arshad Iqbal for 55 off 109 balls (four fours, three sixes) with Central Punjab’s total at 185.
Irfanullah took his third wicket of the day when he bowled wicketkeeper Ali Shan (9) at 205 on the board while Khalid sent back Bilawal Iqbal (1) a run later. Irfanullah took his fourth-wicket of the day when he dismissed Central Punjab captain Hasan Ali for one.
When stumps were drawn Qasim Akram was batting on 35 off 73 balls (four fours) with Ahmed Safi Abdullah unbeaten on zero. Irfanullah has taken his four wickets conceding 45 runs in 16.1 overs while Khalid’s two wickets have come in 13 overs for 29 runs.
Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 285 for seven, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa could only add 15 more runs as they were bowled out for 300 in 97.5 overs handing Central Punjab four first innings bowling points. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa gathered three batting points.
Zohaib Khan (30), Sameen Gul (9) and Arshad Iqbal (2) were the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa batsmen dismissed today. Hasan was the most successful Central Punjab bowler; he took four wickets for 62 runs. Waqas Maqsood finished with three for 59 runs in 21 overs.