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Dominant Fata move closer to first-class status

Dominant Fata move closer to first-class status

KARACHI: The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) have all but qualified for their first flight of first-class cricket after putting up a dominant display against Karachi Blues on day one of the third and final-round inter-region qualifying tournament here on Monday.

Pool ‘A’ leaders Fata, who just need a draw in the last four-day fixture, made a mockery of Karachi Blues’ decision to field first at the UBL Sports Complex by flogging their bowlers to the tune of 351-8 in 90 overs.

Asif Afridi, the all-rounder who claimed 12 wickets for 89 runs with his left-arm seamers in the victory over Faisalabad last Friday at the same venue, smashed a quickfire unbeaten 85. His 92-ball effort included 13 boundaries and a brace of sixes.

Rehan Afridi struck nine fours in scoring 78 from 158 deliveries, while Fawad Khan hit a 64-ball 61 featuring 11 fours and one six.

Paceman Salman Zaib and left-arm spinner Mirza Ahsan Jamil claimed three wickets each for 53 and 84, respectively.

A total of 16 wickets tumbled at the NBP Sports Complex in the other pool ‘A’ game between Abbottabad and Faisalabad.

After opting to bat first, Abbottabad mustered just 156 all out in their first innings despite Rameez Ahmed (50 off 95 balls, seven fours and one six) and Adnan Younis (48 off 95, six boundaries) making worthy contributions.

Atif Manzoor was Faisalabad’s main wicket-taker with 5-57.

But Faisalabad also struggled in their turn at the crease as they slumped to 110-6 with Fawad Malook so far taking four wickets for only 10 runs.

Sialkot and Lahore Blues, who are separated by a solitary point in pool ‘B’, were engaged in a fluctuating first day at the National Stadium in Karachi.

Former international Mansoor Amjad scored 89 (156 balls, nine fours) and Faisal Rasheed an undefeated 68 (141 balls, eight fours and one six) to help leaders Sialkot reach 287-9 after they were asked to bat.

In the inconsequential match at the Niaz Stadium in Hyderabad, Bahawalpur were tottering at 66-6 after dismissing fellow strugglers Multan for 147 in their first innings.

In the qualifying competition for departments, table-toppers Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) made 243 all out in their first innings after Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) decided to bowl first at the Multan Cricket Stadium in Multan.

Seasoned all-rounder Tariq Haroon made invaluable 87 (192 balls, 11 fours and one six) and Mohammad Amir struck an unbeaten 69 (130 balls, eight fours and one six).

Mohammad Abbas, fresh from his 11-wicket haul against Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) last week, captured 4-52.

KRL replied with 12-0 when stumps were drawn for the day.

State Bank were on top against Karachi Port Trust (KPT) at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad.

The bankers’ decision to bowl first paid off handsomely as KPT were sent packing for 163. Former Pakistan U-19 player Ahmed Iqbal struck a fighting undefeated 60 (173 balls, four boundaries).

State Bank then negotiated 16.3 overs to collect 52-0 by stumps.

PIA’s struggles continued at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore when ZTBL restricted them to 168 all out. Fahad Iqbal was the main run-getter with 56 (131 balls, six fours).

Sohail Tanvir grabbed four wickets for 20 runs before ZTBL went to stumps at 63-1 in their reply.

Close of play scores on Monday (day one of four):

Inter-department qualifying tournament:

Third round:

At Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan: SSGC 243 in 82 overs (Tariq Haroon 87, Mohammad Amir 69 not out; Mohammad Abbas 4-52, Majid Ali 2-43, Sadaf Hussain 2-48); KRL 12-0 in 4 overs (Saeed Anwar Jr 12 not out).

At Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad: KPT 163 in 71 overs (Ahmed Iqbal 60 not out, Taimur Ali 30; Kamran Ghulam 3-24, Nazar Hussain 3-38, Mohammad Naveed 2-33); STATE BANK 52-0 in 16.3 overs (Abid Ali 22 not out, Saad Ali 13 not out).

At Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore: PIA 168 in 60.2 overs (Fahad Iqbal 56, Aizaz Cheema 37; Sohail Tanvir 4-20, Zohaib Khan 3-26); ZTBL 63-1 in 22.5 overs (Zohaib Khan 31 not out, Ahmed Rasheed 26).

Inter-regional qualifying tournament:

Pool ‘A’:

At UBL Sports Complex, Karachi: FATA 351-8 in 90 overs (Asif Afridi 85 not out, Rehan Afridi 78, Fawad Khan 61, Khushdil Shah 30; Salman Zaib 3-53, Mirza Ahsan Jamil 3-84) vs KARACHI BLUES.

At NBP Sports Complex, Karachi: ABBOTTABAD 156 in 55.2 overs (Rameez Ahmed 50, Adnan Younis 48, Ikramullah 22 not out; Atif Manzoor 5-57, Ali Rafiq 2-21, Shahabul Khan 2-56); FAISALABAD 110-6 in 36 overs (Asif Ali 42, Waqas Asif 23; Fawad Malook 4-10).

Pool ‘B’:

At National Stadium, Karachi: SIALKOT 287-9 in 92 overs (Mansoor Amjad 89, Faisal Rasheed 68 not out, Atiq-ur-Rehman 30, Ahsan Bhatti 21; Aftab Azhar 3-38, Saad Nasim 2-37, Bilawal Iqbal 2-56) vs LAHORE BLUES.

At Niaz Stadium, Hyderabad: MULTAN 147 in 62.1 overs (Mohammad Asim 48, Aftab Niazi 30, Naveed Alam 23; Kamran Hussain 4-32, Imranullah Aslam 3-20, Zahir Siddiqui 2-52); BAHAWALPUR 66-6 in 25 overs (Mohammad Irfan 4-14).

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2015

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