Pentangular Cup, 1st round, 1st day

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sind 60 for 1 (Naumanullah 33*, Latif 12*) trail

North West Frontier Province 203 (Shakeel-ur-Rehman 45, Sohail 4-65) by 143 runs

Sind restricted North West Frontier Province to 203 on the first day of the opening round of the Pentangular Cup, before adding 60 runs at a brisk pace for the loss of one wicket in Karachi. Fast bowler Sohail Khan, who made his ODI debut in the recent series against Zimbabwe, was the wrecker-in-chief, finishing with 4 for 65. He was ably supported by the spin duo of Danish Kaneria and Shahid Afridi as both chipped in with a couple of wickets.

Afridi, the Sind captain, opted to field, and the move quickly paid off, with Sohail, the top wicket-taker in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, removing Yasir Hameed and Riaz Kail cheaply. Sohail's new-ball partner Anwar Ali grabbed the key wicket of Younis Khan. After Adnan Raees fell to Danish Kaneria for 30, NWFP were tottering at 105 for 8.

However, they were rescued by a ninth-wicket stand of 69 between Aslam Qureshi (29) and No. 9 Shakeel-ur-Rehman, who top scored with 45. Last-man Fazel-e-Akbar contributed an unbeaten 16. Afridi took the final two wickets to fall, as NWFP were bowled out for 203.

Khurram Manzoor and Khalid Latif, two other recent debutants for Pakistan, opened the innings for Sind. Manzoor was out soon to Samiullah Khan but a useful 33 from 42 balls from Naumanullah, the leading run-getter in this season's Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, helped them reach 60 for 1 in 15 overs before stumps.

Federal Areas 301 for 4 (Majeed 107, Saeed 52*, Ashraf 41*) v Punjab

A century from opener Raheel Majeed and his 80-run stand for the first wicket with Afaq Raheem (40) set the tone for a day of domination for the Federal Areas in Lahore. It was a day for hard toil for the Punjab bowlers as the opponents finished at 301 for 4 at close.

Federal Areas, captained by Shoaib Akhtar, decided to bat and their openers added runs at a breezy rate. Raheem was the first to fall, for 40 off 58 balls, bowled by Abdur Rehman, the left-arm spinner. Wahab Riaz, one among an assembly line of left-arm quicks tried by Pakistan against Zimbabwe, grabbed two wickets but he could not prevent Majeed from completing a stroke-filled hundred. Majeed's 107 needed only 130 deliveries, and included 12 fours and three sixes.

At 221 for 4, a few wickets could have seen Punjab claw their way back, but unbeaten scores of 52 and 41 from Usman Saeed and Naved Ashraf helped Federal Areas finish in a comfortable position.

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