Fifties from Talat, Junaid put Lahore Whites in command in QT

By our correspondent
LAHORE: Half centuries by Hussain Talat and Junaid Ali put Lahore Whites in a commanding position against Lahore Blues, on the first day of play for the QeAT 2023-2024. Bowlers Ahmed Bashir, Aamir Jamal and Mohammad Irfan counterattack the batting onslaught to keep the score at bay, while the Whites end the day on 247-7.

Lahore Blues vs Lahore Whites at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore:

Lahore Whites, led by Saad Naseem, won the toss and opted to bowl first. Captain Imran Butt and Umar Siddiq opened the batting for Lahore blues. However, by lunch, both the openers had lost their wickets. Resuming play after lunch from 69-2, the Imran-led side sought stability in the innings. A 54-run partnership between Usman Salahuddin and Rizwan Hussain helped their cause.

However, the bowling unit kept the Blues’ batting line-up on their toes by getting wickets periodically. Ahmed Bashir, Aamir Jamal and Mohammad Irfan each got two wickets. Bowler Bilawal Iqbal also bagged a wicket, at the start of the innings.

A 73-run partnership between Hussain Talat and Junaid Ali helped the Saad-led side into a comfortable position. Half centuries by both Hussain and Junaid took the pressure off the batting side. By the end of the day, Lahore Whites had posted a score of 247, having lost seven wickets during the innings thus far.

Peshawar vs Karachi Whites at Abbottabad Cricket Stadium

Peshawar won the toss and asked Karachi Whites to bat first, wanting to bowl first on the Abbottabad pitch. Although Sarfaraz-led Karachi did not get to an ideal start, having lost three wickets by lunch. Peshawar bowlers challenged the batters early on; Muhammad Ilyas taking the wickets of Habibullah and Ammad Alam and Imran Khan Snr getting the dangerous Omair Bin Yousaf out.

Veterans Khurram Manzoor and Asad Shafiq produced a magnificent partnership between themselves to keep the batting side ahead of the game. However, Ilyas got Asad out, breaking the solid partnership. After that, although Karachi could not maintain a steady partnership with Danish Aziz and Khurram both losing their wickets in quick succession, the scorecard did not completely halt.

At the end of the day, Karachi was comfortably at 267-6, with captain Sarfaraz Ahmed at the crease.

Faisalabad vs Multan at Shoaib Akhtar Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi

A wet outfield at the Shoaib Akhtar Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi delayed the start of the match. After losing the toss, Faisalabad was asked to field first. The batting side got to a steady start; the openers had a 67-run-stand between the two. Even after Ahmed Safi Abdullah got Haseebullah out, effectively breaking the opening stand, Multan did not feel any unease. A following 42-run partnership between Imran Rafiq and opener Zain Abbas kept the score flowing.

Although getting a half-century, Zain too lost his wicket to Ahmed. At the end of the day’s play, Multan found themselves at 145-2 after having played 43 overs in the day. Batters Imran and Sharoon Siraj, both batting in 20s, were at the crease by the time play was closed.

FATA vs Rawalpindi at Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi

Overnight rain in Rawalpindi delayed the start of the match. After winning the toss, Rawalpindi opted to bowl first. The batting side lost two early wickets, with openers Samiullah and Salman Khan both getting out cheaply.

However, a solid partnership of 137 runs between captain Khushdil Shah and opener Mohammad Usman kept FATA in a strong position. Even though he was denied a century, a brilliant 99 by Usman remained the highlight for the first batting innings. Following his wicket, FATA lost Rehan Afridi cheaply.

By the time play was closed, FATA was 196 for the loss of five wickets after 57 overs. Sameen Gul and Mohammad Wasim Khan remained at the crease.

Scores in brief

Lahore Whites vs Lahore Blues

Lahore Whites: 247-7 in 79.5 overs (Hussain Talat 61, Junaid Ali 51; Ahmed Bashir 2-23, Mohammad Irfan 2-85)

Peshawar vs Karachi Whites

Karachi Whites: 267-6 in 86 overs (Khurram Manzoor 87, Asad Shafiq 70; Mohammad Ilyas 4-61)

Faisalabad vs Multan

Multan: 145-2 in 43 overs (Zain Abbas 65; Ahmed Safi Abdullah 2-31)

FATA vs Rawalpindi

FATA: 196-5 in 57 overs (Muhammad Usman 99, Khushdil Shah 64; Mubasir Khan 2-48)

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