January 23, 2002

Sohail hammers brilliant century

Opener Sohail Idrees struck a fine 154 Tuesday as Lahore Blues put on a big second innings total against Islamabad on the third day of their Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match at the KRL Stadium.

Lahore finished the day on 382 for eight and are likely to bat on for sometime Wednesday morning in order to give Islamabad a difficult target to chase on the last day. The home side has a first innings lead of 64.

The Islamabad bowlers toiled on a pitch helping the batsmen and Lahore's Sohail made full use of the conditions to crack 15 fours and a six in his 239-ball innings. Along with his skipper Bazid Khan who scored 88, he was involved in a 189-run partnership for the third wicket.

Sohail's marathon knock was finally ended by pacer Rauf Akbar, who finished the day with five for 63. He also put the brakes on Bazid whose 88 from 150 deliveries had nine fours. Ali Naqvi had three for 98.

Meanwhile controversy gripped the match when play ended as the Lahore manager Hafeez-ur-Rehman complained to the referee Rizwan Khateeb that one of the groundsmen had dug up a bit of the pitch as covers were being brought on. But in actual fact it was Lahore's Humayun Farhat who while batting did the damage in the danger area which led to he being ordered by umpire Sadiq Mohammad to have his spikes changed.

The move of the Lahore manager of wrongly blaming the groundsman to cover up a wrong of one of his players upset the Islamabad officials. They felt that the damage done was intentional and calls for a high level probe. They even threatened not to bat Wednesday.