Irfanullah Shah rips through Sindh’s batting as KP dominate day-1

By our correspondent
KARACHI: Fast bowler Irfanullah Shah (5-43) bowled superbly as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa folded Sindh for only 145 in their first innings on the opening day of their seventh round four-day fixture of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2021-2022 here at the SBP Ground on Tuesday.
And, in response, KP were 124-2 at stumps.
The 26-year old Bannu-born Irfanullah did a disciplined bowling on a perfect track. The paceman forced Sindh’s batsmen to make mistakes and the whole team were blown away in the 43rd over. Only skipper Asad Shafiq (31) and Faraz Ali (31) showed some grace on the pitch. Asad was trapped lbw off a delivery from Irfanullah which kept a bit low. The Pakistan discarded batsman hammered five fours from 55 balls. Faraz Ali smashed five fours from 59 deliveries. Khurram Manzoor (14), Ahsan Ali (18) and Mir Hamza (15*) were the other prominent contributors.
This was the sixth time in his first-class career that Irfanullah Shah claimed five wickets in an innings.
Left-arm spinner Asif Afridi got 3-16 in eight overs and he was the man who made early inroads which was later taken over by Irfanullah. Pacer Arshad Iqbal clinched 2-42 in 13.1 overs.
KP, in response, had a shaky start when they lost their key batsman Sahibzada Farhan (4) and Nabi Gul (6) early. However Musaddiq Ahmed (72*) and skipper Iftikhar Ahmed (34*) shared a solid 92-run stand for the third wicket to enable KP finish the day-1 on top.
Musaddiq smashed nine fours and one six from 93 deliveries. Iftikhar struck four fours from 69 balls.
Sohail Khan (1-24) and Mir Hamza (1-33) got one wicket each.
Meanwhile in the other match here at the NBP Sports Complex, Northern were 323-3 in their first innings at stumps against Central Punjab thanks to Haider Ali’s fine knock of 141 not out.
Haider, a young batting sensation of Pakistan, hammered 22 fours and a six in his 168-ball super knock. This was his third century and also highest total in his brief first-class career. He put on 204 runs for the fourth wicket association with Faizan Riaz who was batting on 57 which came off 131 balls and had five fours. Mohammad Huraira (54) and skipper Umar Amin (50), earlier, shared 96 runs for the second wicket after losing Zaid Alam (12) early to set momentum.
Huraira clobbered eight fours from 108 balls while Amin smashed seven fours from 73 balls.
Fast bowler Mohammad Ali was the pick of the bowlers with 2-54 in 18 overs while left-arm spinner Ahmed Safi Abdullah got 1-113 in 31 overs.
In another show here at the UBL Sports Complex, Agha Salman (117*) and Zeeshan Ashraf (102) smashed fine centuries as Southern Punjab reached 327-3 in their first innings against Balochistan.
Agha hit 15 fours in his 182-ball unbeaten knock. He added 75 runs for the third wicket with Zeeshan who hammered 13 fours and three sixes in his 116-ball feat. Zeeshan, earlier, put on 76 for the second wicket with Umar Siddiq who chipped in with 31 which contained three fours.
Yousuf Babar (45*) then offered a good support to Agha as the duo shared 45 for the fourth wicket unbroken stand. Yousuf hit four fours from 117 balls. Gohar Faiz, Akif Javed and spinner Kashif Bhatti claimed one wicket each.

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