Azhar Ali, Kamran tons power Central Punjab on Day 1



Centuries by Kamran Akmal and Azhar Ali revived Central Punjab

Centuries by Kamran Akmal and Azhar Ali revived Central Punjab © PCB

Central Punjab vs Northern, Faisalabad

Centuries by Kamran Akmal and Azhar Ali helped Central Punjab to 369 for 5 on the opening day of their encounter against Northern, in Faisalabad.

Northern had chosen to bowl and it was a decision that seemed to have paid dividends initially. Musa Khan’s two early wickets had left the hosts struggling at 85 for 3 at Lunch. The 19-year-old struck again in the day and brought a promising 52-run fourth-wicket partnership between Azhar and Saad Nasim (31) to an end.

However, a century stand between Kamran and Azhar helped Central Punjab revive their innings and take them to a strong position in the contest. Azhar, not out on 110, hit eight fours while Kamran struck 12 fours and four sixes in his 170-ball 157 before getting stumped off Nauman Ali’s bowling.

Brief scores: Central Punjab 369/5 (Kamran Akmal 157, Azhar Ali 110*; Musa Khan 3-57) vs Northern

Balochistan vs Southern Punjab, Quetta

Centuries by Azeem Ghumman and Imran Farhat powered Balochistan to 347 for 4 on the opening day of their encounter against Southern Punjab at the Bugti Stadium, on Saturday (September 21).

Shaan Masood, the Southern Punjab captain, opted to bowl without contesting the toss. But the decision backfired as the hosts put on a century stand for the opening wicket. Mohammad Irfan eventually managed to strike in the 34th over, when Imran Butt was bowled for 66. He struck twice in the same over, as two balls later Abubakar Khan was trapped legbefore for a duck.

However, Ghumman continued to hold the innings solid for the hosts and put on another century stand, this time in company of the skipper Imran Farhat. Unlike the opener, Farhat was more aggressive with his strokeplay and struck 17 boundaries in his 118-ball 117.

Bilwal Bhatti struck twice late in the day to remove Farhat and Hussain Talat. Ghumman, meanwhile, remained unbeaten on 143, in company of Bismillah Khan.

Brief scores: Balochistan 347/4 (Azeem Ghumman 143*, Imran Farhat 117; Bilawal Bhatti 2-65, Mohammad Irfan 2-71) vs Southern Punjab

Sindh vs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

On a slow day, Omair Bin Yousuf’s unbeaten 133 helped Sindh to 254 for 2 against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Karachi. Playing his first first-class match this season, Yousuf hit 15 fours and two sixes enroute his third first-class century.

The 20-year-old put on a 130-run stand with his opening partner Khurram Manzoor after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s captain Sahibzada Farhan chose to bowl without contesting the toss. Both the wickets to fall of the day were prized by offie Adil Amin.

Yousuf saw through the rest of the day in the company of Asad Shafiq, adding 120 runs before stumps were taken. Shafiq was unbeaten on 68.

Brief scores: Sindh 254/2 (Omair Bin Yousuf 133*, Asad Shafiq 68*; Adil Amin 2-31) vs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

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