Khalid leads KP’s comeback against Northern

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A captain’s knock from Khalid Usman helped Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to avert the follow on against Northern in their fifth-round Quaid-e-Azam Trophy fixture at the National Stadium here on Saturday.

The 34-year-old all-rounder, who bats right-handed and slow left-armers, reached a maiden century after making 24 fifty-plus scores in 92 games — having made his first-class debut in October 2007 — as he hit up an undefeated 113 to help his side post 318 in their first innings on the penultimate day of the four-day match.

Khalid was on 59 when Khyber Pakhtunkhwa resumed at 249-7 in reply to Northern’s 460-9 declared and had to rely on last man Arshad Iqbal for support before finally reaching the coveted landmark by lifting Mohammad Nawaz for a boundary. Khalid’s 158-ball innings included 16 fours and four sixes.

Northern then went for quick runs and declared their second innings at 259-4 with young wicket-keeper/batsman registering his first ton at the first-class level. The 22-year-old right-hander capitalised on his promotion to No 3 by striking an unbeaten 103 off 126 balls (nine fours).

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Set 390 for victory, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa made a fine start by closing at 55-0.

The remaining two fixtures were heading for draw.

Centuries from opener Omair Bin Yousuf (109 off 243 balls, 11 fours and three sixes) and Saud Shakeel (142 off 233, 15 fours and one six), who put on 207 for the second wicket, guided Sindh to 407 in response to Balochistan’s 458-9 declared at the SBP Sports Complex.

Slow left-armer Jalat Khan snared five wickets for 85 runs in 30.2 overs before Balochistan went to stumps at 42 without loss to have an overall lead of 93.

Bottom-placed Central Punjab continued their solid progress against leaders Southern Punjab at the UBL Sports Complex. The holders were 401-9 in their reply to Southern Punjab’s 527-7 declared.

Close of play scores on Saturday (day three of four):

First XI, fifth round:

At National Stadium, Karachi: NORTHERN 460-9 declared in 102.2 overs (Faizan Riaz 146, Mohammad Nawaz 121, Nasir Nawaz 68, Asif Ali 52 not out, Sarmad Bhatti 24; Zohaib Khan 3-46, Arshad Iqbal 3-75, Sajid Khan 2-112) and 247-4 declared in 49.1 overs (Umair Masood 103 not out, Nasir Nawaz 84, Faizan Riaz 56, Mohammad Nawaz 29 not out, Sarmad Bhatti 25; Sajid Khan 2-72); KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA 318 in 76.2 overs (Khalid Usman 113 not out, Kamran Ghulam 67, Rehan Afridi 34, Mohammad Wasim 27; Munir Riaz 5-113, Nauman Ali 2-64) and 55-0 in 9 overs (Musadiq Ahmed 29 not out, Israrullah 22 not out).

At UBL Sports Complex, Karachi: SOUTHERN PUNJAB 527-7 declared in 134 overs (Agha Salman 169, Mohammad Imran 100 not out, Umar Siddique 94, Zain Abbas 69, Bilawal Bhatti 37, Saif Badar 22; Hasan Ali 2-79, Waqas Maqsood 2-88, Ahmed Safi Abdullah 2-118); CENTRAL PUNJAB 401-9 in 131 overs (Usman Salahuddin 76, Saad Nasim 69, Ali Zaryab 67, Ali Shan 44, Ahmed Shehzad 33, Bilal Asif 24, Hasan Ali 22 not out; Agha Salman 3-44, Bilawal Bhatti 3-60).

At SBP Sports Complex, Karachi: BALOCHISTAN 458-9 declared in 115.5 overs (Akbar-ur-Rehman 164, Ayaz Tasawwar 138 not out, Ali Waqas 46, Imran Farhat 33, Kashif Bhatti 23, Azeem Ghumman 22; Shahnawaz Dhani 4-79, Abrar Ahmed 3-123) and 42-0 in 12 overs (Azeem Ghumman 24 not out; SINDH 407 in 121.2 overs (Saud Shakeel 142, Omair Bin Yousuf 109, Saad Ali 56, Sharjeel Khan 26; Jalat Khan 5-85, Mohammad Talha 2-64, Taj Wali 2-86).