LAHORE    -   Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were firmly in control of their four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match against Northern at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Led by left-arm spinner Zohaib Khan and Test paceman Junaid Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bowlers sent Northern packing for 262 in 90.3 overs in the first innings. And with a commanding 264-run lead, Mohammad Rizwan asked the Imad Wasim-led Northern to follow on. Northern were 105-2 in their second innings at the close of the third day’s play. They still require another 159 runs to make Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bat again. The unbeaten batsmen at the stumps were Umar Amin (32) and Pakistan Under-19 captain Rohail Nazir (21). Openers Haider Ali (27) and Afaq Raheem (21) were the batsmen dismissed.  Zohaib and Adil Amin shared Northern’s second innings wickets thus far.

Earlier, Northern batsmen wilted under pressure of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s mammoth first innings score of 526-9 declared.

None of the batsmen – barring debutant Haider Ali and Imad – were successful in making an impression. Haider, who was 56 not out overnight, was unlucky to miss a century on his first-class debut by just one run. The 18-year-old right-handed opener faced 208 balls and hit 11 fours and two sixes in his 297-minute stay at the wicket. Imad scored 33 down the order.

Northern could bag only two bonus points for crossing the 250-run mark in their first innings, whereas, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also earned three bonus points for bowling out Northern. Rizwan used his bowlers well. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s pace cum spin attack not only kept the run-rate in check but also claimed wickets at regular intervals. Zohaib was the pick of the bowlers, claiming three wickets for just 21 runs in 15 overs. Junaid had 3-40 while leg-break bowler Irfan Khan took two wickets, including Haider’s scalp.


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 1ST INNINGS: 526-9d, 136.4 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 176, Ashfaq Ahmed 106, Adil Amin 73, Iftikhar Ahmed 35, Fakhar Zaman 33, Sahibzada Farhan 29; Shadab Khan 4-151)

Northern 1ST INNINGS: 262 all-out, 90.3 overs (Haider Ali 99, Imad Wasim 33, Afaq Raheem 25, Umar Amin 20; Zohaib Khan 3-21, Junaid Khan 3-40, Irfan Khan 2-69) and 105-2, 39 overs (Umar Amin 32 not out, Haider Ali 27, Rohail Nazir 21 not out, Afaq Raheem 21)