Umar Akmal smokes 117-run knock to lead Central Punjab

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Umar Akmal gained his form back and scored 177 runs to take a healthy 114-run lead for Central Punjab (CP) against Sindh in the second inning at National Stadium Karachi.

Akmal partnered with Salman Butt to lift CP’s score from 22-2 to 207-2. Butt remained not out with Akmal for 81 off 197 balls. They both resumed the inning for CP on Day four.

With a strong lead of 114 runs, CP is leading the charge against Sindh who posted 339 runs in the first inning. Sarfraz Ahmed (58) and Fawad Alam (58) rescued Sindh on Day two and three as they took the lead of 93 runs for their team.

Aizaz Cheema bowled brilliantly and took five-wicket haul, his 38th in first-class cricket, while Bilal Asif supported him strongly as he bagged four wickets.

On the other hand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) outclassed Baluchistan by an inning and 122 runs. Baluchistan suffered a follow-on after falling to 117 runs in reply to KP’s mammoth first-innings total of 385.

In second chance, Baluchistan’s batsmen once again failed to click as Bismillah Khan scored the highest 40 runs for them.

Sajid Khan bowled strongly, after finishing wicket-less in the first inning, and bagged four wickets. Fakhar Zaman took two wickets.

At Pindi Stadium, Southern Punjab struggled against Northern’s 463-7. They suffered a follow-on after resuming Day three for 149-2. Northern bowlers bowled them out for 268.

Shadab Khan and Waqas Ahmed bagged two wickets each to laid a solid foundation for Northen.

SP scored 76-1 till stumps on day three. Umar Siddique (39*) and Zeeshan Ashraf (21*) remained not out for them.

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