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Winless quartet face crunch time in Quaid Trophy

Winless quartet face crunch time in Quaid Trophy

KARACHI: After two rounds of action in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy National Cricket Championship four regional outfits are still searching for favourable results while several other teams will feel absence of Pakistan players.

Faisalabad and Peshawar are yet to taste success in Group ‘A’ as do Fata and Karachi Whites in Group ‘B’ before they take field in the their respective third-round fixtures from Monday.

On the other hand, the team most hit by national call-ups is Habib Bank Limited (HBL) after the national selection committee, headed by Inzamam-ul-Haq, included Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Fahim Ashraf, Junaid Khan, Imam-ul-Haq before adding Usman Khan Shinwari to the 15-man Pakistan squad for the upcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka in the UAE.

The depleted HBL, who are just a point behind Group ‘B’ leaders United Bank Limited (UBL), could find their visit to the LCCA Ground when they come against Lahore Whites, who despite being blown away by inspirational pace bowling from Rumman Raees Khan (nine for 25), may spring a surprise or two.

Karachi Whites need a drastic change to bounce back from defeats in their opening two games as they entertain Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) at the UBL Sports Complex.

Fata are also in a position of despair after two straight losses when they take on the formidable UBL at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot.

Faisalabad fell at the final hurdle after having taken first-innings lead against defending champions Wapda last Friday. In their two matches thus far, Saeed Ajmal’s men have shown signs of positivity but their failure to carry on the momentum still remains a major worry as they host SNGPL in round three.

Peshawar, who like Karachi Whites are rooted at the bottom of the pool standings, meanwhile are hoping for a good showing against a National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) who are still smarting from the three-day innings defeat to Lahore Blues.

Third-round schedule (Oct 9-12):

Group ‘A’: Faisalabad vs SNGPL (Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad); Lahore Blues vs SSGC (Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore); Islamabad vs Wapda (Diamond Club Ground, Islamabad); Peshawar vs NBP (Abbottabad Cricket Stadium, Abbottabad).

Group ‘B’: Karachi Whites vs KRL (UBL Sports Complex, Karachi); Lahore Whites vs HBL (LCCA Ground, Lahore); Fata vs UBL (Jinnah Stadium, Sialkot); Rawalpindi vs PTV (Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi).

Current standings

(Tabulated under played, won, lost, drawn, points):

Group ‘A’

SSGC 2 2 0 0 18

Wapda 2 2 0 0 15

Lahore Blues 2 1 1 0 10

SNGPL 2 1 1 0 9

NBP 2 1 1 0 9

Islamabad 2 0 1 1 3

Faisalabad 2 0 2 0 0

Peshawar 2 0 2 0 0

Group ‘B’

UBL 2 2 0 0 20

HBL 2 2 0 0 19

KRL 2 1 1 0 9

Lahore Whites 2 1 1 0 9

PTV 2 1 1 0 9

Rawalpindi 2 1 1 0 9

Fata 2 0 2 0 0

Karachi Whites 2 0 2 0 0

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2017

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