Taufeeq ton thwarts Baluchistan charge
Punjab captain Taufeeq Umar scored an unbeaten 106, the bulk of his team's first-innings total of 235 against table-toppers Baluchistan on the first day at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Usman Salahuddin got 53, and only two other batsmen got double figures in what could have been a disastrous day for Punjab if not for Taufeeq's knock.
Baluchistan seamer Abdur Rauf struck three early blows to leave Punjab 19 for 3. Taufeeq and Salahuddin then put on 84 to revive the innings, but after Salahuddin fell, wickets kept tumbling at the other end and Taufeeq had to wage a lone battle. He carried his bat, facing 201 deliveries and hitting 12 fours. After Rauf did the early damage, it was left-arm seamer Rizwan Haider who rattled the middle order with three wickets, and left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar got rid of the tail. Baluchistan's openers safely negotiated two overs at the end of the day's play, ending on 10 for 0.
Sind's batsmen put them in a strong position against Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground, getting to 263 for 3 at stumps. After being asked to bat, Sind lost an early wicket, but Rameez Raja junior came in and scored a steady 64 at No. 3. The middle order capitalised on a solid start, with Faisal Iqbal ending the day unbeaten on 97, and Fawad Alam finishing on 58 not out off 57 balls. Sind scored at a fast rate of 3.92 runs an over, but only 67 overs of play were possible in the day.