Dec 092017

KARACHI: Salman Afridi (126*) carried the bat by smashing his maiden first-class hundred to single-handedly guide Habib Bank Limited (HBL) to 252 all out in their first innings against Lahore Blues on the opening day of their Group I second round outing of the Super Eight stage of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy here at State Bank of Pakistan Ground on Saturday.

The 25-year, playing only his fifth first-class game, smashed 11 fours in his responsbile 245-ball knock.

After being invited to bat first HBL were at one stage struggling at 140-8. However Salman put on 104 runs for the ninth wicket partnership with Test cricketer Abdul Rehman (46) to bring some grace to the total. Rehman hit two fours and a six in his 103-ball glorious effort. Left-arm medium pacer Saif-ur-Rehman was the pick of the bowlers with 5-69. Bilawal Iqbal captured 3-63. Lahore Blues were nine 9-1 at stumps, in response.

Meanwhile in Group II encounter here at NBP Sports Complex, Mohammad Saad and Aamer Sajjad hit fifties to guide defending champions WAPDA to 206-6 in their first innings against United Bank Limited (UBL). The 27-year old Saad (57) and Aamer (51) put on 110 runs for the fourth wicket association to bring respectability to WAPDA’s total in 87 overs after their skipper Salman Butt opted to bat. Right-handed Gujranwala-born Saad smashed nine fours from 115 balls. Aamer’s solid knock included seven fours from 117 deliveries.

Earlier, Zahid Mansoor (46) and Salman Butt (19) provided a 61-run opening stand to WAPDA. Zahid hit six fours from 130 balls. Salman played too cautiously, hitting two fours after facing 101 balls.

At stumps test stumper Kamran Akmal (6*) and Khushdil Shah (0*) were at the crease. Left-arm medium pacer Mir Hamza (3-29) and left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (3-46) bowled well.

In the other Group II meeting here at UBL Sports Complex, left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti (5-71) enabled Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) to fold Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) for only 177 in 72.3 overs.

Usman Arshad, played at No4, struck 59 off 114 balls which featured ten fours. Saif Badar (30) and opener Jaahid Ali (26) were the other prominent scorers. Kashif was ably backed by medium pacer Azhar Attari who bagged 3-47. In response, SSGC were reeling at 21-4 in 15 overs. Paceman Ahmed Bashir did the real damage by picking 3-11 in seven overs.

In Group I show at Niaz Stadium Hyderabad Khurram Shehzad (115) hit his second successive hundred to propel former champions Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) to 314-5 at close in their first innings against Lahore Whites.

Khurram added 90 runs for the third wicket stand with Asad Shafiq (59) and then put on 147 for the fourth wicket with test cricketer Iftikhar Ahmed who was batting at 77.

Khurram smashed 13 fours and two sixes in his 178-ball knock. Asad, Pakistan’s solid test player, struck eight fours from 79 balls.Iftikhar, who has played lone test against England during Pakistan’s last tour to England, had smacked nine fours in his 121-ball unifinished knock. With him at the other end was allrounder Hussain Talat (20*). Paceman Umaid Asif got 3-81. Waqas Ahmed captured 2-93.

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