Faheem Ashraf bags fifer, Central Punjab restricts Northern to 254


Faheem Ashraf bagged five-wicket haul to help Central Punjab (CP) restrict Northern to 254-10 in the first inning on Day 1 of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy’s final at National Stadium Karachi (NSK).

Opting to bat first after winning the toss, Northern suffered batting collapse when their opener Haider Ali (8) and Umar Amin (0) lost their wickets for just 12 runs. Aizaz Cheema (2-56) bagged both the wickets to put CP in the driving seat.

Player of the day for Northern, Faizan Riaz rescued his team after CP left them struggling at 69-5. He shined with 116 runs off 133 balls with the help of 14 boundaries. His inning-saving 155 runs partnership with young Rohail Nazir was yet another highlight of the day.

Rohail, who supported strongly his partner at the other hand, scored well fought 80 runs off 115 deliveries laced with 12 fours.

Bilal Asif removed well set Rohail and later went onto bag Noman Ali and Waqas Ahmed in a row to reduce opponents to 248-9. Bilal finished as the second-best bowler of the day with the figures of 3-37.

In reply, CP looked comfortable with their openers Ahmed Shahzad and Salman Butt capitalizing on the opportunity. Both the front-line batters managed to score 30 runs before Noman Ali, highest wicket-taker of the tournament, removed Shahzad for 20.

Butt then with Azhar added 57 runs to team’s total. The left-handed batsman remained not-out for 48 runs while Azhar finished Day 1 at 17 not out with three boundaries.