A mammoth partnership between Aamer Yamin and Mohammad Irfan Jnr’ for Southern Punjab was the talking point of the day 2 of QeA Trophy round 4. Once again bowlers largely failed to make inroads as the lowest 1st innings scores in three matches was 450.
In Rawalpindi, Northern started the day at 365/5 and could only 85 runs to the total before being bowled out. Faizan Riaz was the top scorer with 141, but Haider Ali’s aggressive 133 was the highlight of the innings. Yasir Shah bagged a couple after toiling all day yesterday without any rewards. All-rounder Amad Butt picked up three wickets to clean up the tail. In response, Balochistan lost Azeem Ghumman early to Lahore Qalandar’s Haris Rauf. Imran Butt and Abubakar Khan got in for a stubborn partnership before Nauman Ali bowled Khan for 58. At the day end, the away side were 119/2.
Table-toppers Central Punjab ended the day under pressure losing two wickets for 45, after conceding 484/5 against KP. Ashfaq Ahmed who was 98 not out overnight, went on to finish as the top scorer with 173. The impressive Adil Amin also contributed 58 before, Mohammad Rizwan declared the innings. Young pacer Naseem Shah was impressive picking up a brace. In response, Central Punjab were jolted by strikes from Junaid Khan and Sameen Gul. Captain Azhar Ali and Usman Salauddin, were the two not out batsmen at the day end.
Meanwhile, in Karachi, Southern Punjab heaped misery on Sindh and ended with 546 runs on the board. Yesterday, Sindh looked to have an opening at 303/5. Sohail Khan bowled Adnan Akmal, while Bilawal Bhatti ran himself out after SP had added just 11 runs. However, Aamer Yamin and Mohammad Irfan junior took the score to 520. Both scored 100s and practically batted Sindh out of the game. Fawad Alam and Sohail Khan picked two wickets each today. Sindh’s top order was solid too reaching 90/1 at the end of the day. The only wicket to fall was Khurram Manzoor’s, falling to Rahat Ali for 36.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see all three matches ending in draws. However, Northern after losing in the last round have a chance to push for a win. It all depends if bowlers can find something extraordinary to pick up 18 more wickets in two days or less.