Pentangular Cup, 5th round, 3rd day

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sind 417 for 7 (Sarfraz 82*, Rizwan 79, Iqbal 65, Riaz 4-99) beat Punjab 181 (Sohail 4-58) and 202 (Misbah 51, Anwar Ali 4-45) by an innings and 31 runs

Sind wrapped up an innings-and-31-run win over Punjab thanks to some smart lower-order batting and a tidy bowling display on day three at the National Stadium in Karachi.

An unbeaten 82 from Sarfraz Ahmed, the wicketkeeper with international experience, in a 79-run eight-wicket stand with Anwar Ali, the former Under-19 star, extended Sind's total to 417 before the declaration. Then it was over to the bowlers, lead by Ali and Shahid Afridi. Afridi dealt three blows to account for Punjab's top order and Ali, bowling his sharp swingers, ran through the lower order.

Punjab could only manage 202 in 55 overs, with captain Misbah-ul-Haq's 72-ball 51 being the best of the innings. Ali picked up 4 for 45 to cap his unbeaten 33 from 59 balls.

Baluchistan 308 and 243 for 4 (Bin Nasir 118*, Maqsood 70) trail NWFP 664 for 6 (Hameed 300, Yasir Shah 51*) by 113 runs

Riding on a mountain of runs, NWFP finished day three of their match against Baluchistan in a comfortable position. Thanks to a career-best 300 from Yasir Hameed, who earlier added 431 with Asad Shafiq, NWFP rattled up 664 for 6 and then reduced Baluchistan to 243 for 4. Still behind by 113 runs, Baluchistan's hopes were pinned on Saeed Bin Nasir, unbeaten on 118 as stumps were drawn in Peshawar.

Hameed resumed the third day on 265, and duly reached his maiden first-class triple. His brisk innings required just 367 deliveries and included 49 fours. He fell just after reaching the landmark but Younis Khan, with a run-a-ball 44 not out, and Yasir Shah, unbeaten on 51, maintained NWFP's dominance.

Baluchistan's second innings started poorly. Opening bowler Waqar Ahmed grabbed two to reduce them to 14 for 2, which became 53 for 3 when Yasir removed Gulraiz Sadaf, the wicketkeeper-batsman. It took a 121-run stand between Bin Nasir and Sohaib Maqsood to stem the rot. Maqsood was next out at 173 after hitting 70 from 69 balls but Bin Nasir went on to notch up his 13th first-class hundred. He was unbeaten at the close, adding a further 69 with Nasim Khan, his captain, but Baluchistan have plenty to do stave off defeat on the fourth day.

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