LAHORE-Wrist spinner Zahid Mahmood capped a perfect two-and-a-half days for Southern Punjab as they carved out a convincing innings and 96 runs victory over Northern in the first round match of the four-day first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy fixture at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex on Tuesday. 

The 32-year-old Dadu-born spinner followed up his first innings figures of 4-41 with a career-best 6-57 to record match figures of 10-98, his maiden 10-wicket haul in 40 first-class matches since making his debut in 2009. On way to his six-fer, Zahid crossed the 100-wicket mark and now has 102 wickets at an average of 39.12 in the four-day format. His performance with the red Kookaburra ball has come after he finished as the ninth most successful bowler in the National T20 Cup with 12 wickets.

Northern, trailing by 342 runs on the first innings and resuming the third day at 31 for three, were sent packing for 246 with Hammad Azam finishing as the top-scorer with a 117-ball 79 that included eight fours and two sixes. He became one of Zahid’s victims, who also picked up the scalps of Faizan Riaz (36), Asif Ali (39), Nauman Ali (32), Salman Irshad (0) and Waqas Ahmed (0). 

From this fixture, Southern Punjab collected 28 points, including 16 for an outright win, one for an innings victory, five for batting and six for bowling. In contrast, Northern had to settle with two bowling points. In the second round fixture, which will start on Saturday, 31 October, Southern Punjab will take on Balochistan in a televised match at the National Stadium, while Northern will stay at the NBP Complex where they will take on Central Punjab. 

At the UBL Sports Complex, Balochistan were sensing a victory against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who finished the penultimate day’s play at 133 for four after being set a target of 413. KP, in their run-chase, had slipped to 29-3 but Adil Amin (56*) and Kamran Ghulam (51) added 104 runs for the fourth wicket to keep their side’s slim hopes alive. 

Fawad Alam stroked his 28th Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, third in succession and 35th overall, as Sindh and Central Punjab fixture was delicately poised in the National Stadium broadcast match. Fawad, resuming at his overnight score of 90 in Sindh’s 196-6, was dismissed after scoring 115 that helped the home side to 239 to grab a slim but crucial 32-run lead. When stumps were drawn for the third day, Central Punjab were 120-4 to lead the home side 88 runs with six wickets standing. 

SCORES IN BRIEF

AT THE NBP COMPLEX

NORTHERN (1ST INNINGS) 165 all out, 48.4 overs (Faizan Riaz 29, Umar Amin 29; Zahid Mahmood 4-41, Salman Ali Agha 3-34) AND 246 all out (Hammad Azam 79, Asif Ali 39; Zahid Mahmood 6-57, M Abbas 2-44) vs SOUTHERN PUNJAB (1ST INNINGS) 507-9d, 113.1 overs (Hussain Talat 253, Shan Masood 134,; Nauman Ali 4-153, Athar Mehmood 3-86)

AT THE NSK

CENTRAL PUNJAB (1ST INNINGS) 207 all out, 86.4 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 69, Mohammad Saad 51; Tabish Khan 5-44) AND 120-4 (Usman Salahuddin 35*; M Umar 2-20, M Asghar 2-35) vs SINDH (1ST INNINGS) 239 all out, 105.3 overs (Fawad Alam 115, Khurram 35; Waqas Maqsood 4-56, Hasan Ali 3-40)

AT UBL SPORTS COMPLEX

BALOCHISTAN 362 all out, 110.2 overs (Bismillah Khan 118, Kashif Bhatti 98; Sajid Khan 3-96) AND 217-8d (Sami Aslam 48, Taimoor Ali 41*, Yasir Shah 41; Sajid Khan 5-78) vs KP (1ST INNINGS) 167 all out, 46.5 overs (Khalid Usman 57*, Kamran Ghulam 42; Khurram Shahzad 5-27, Yasir Shah 4-94) and 133-4 (Adil Amin 56*, Kamran Ghulam 51; Kashif Bhatti 2-42).