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March 5, 2011
Sind, driven by a 10-wicket match haul by Danish Kaneria, completed a comprehensive innings victory over Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground, within three days. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa began day three on 123 for 6, 335 runs short of Sind's first-innings total. Mohammed Sami and Kaneria made short work of the tail, picking up the last four wickets for two runs, to finish with four wickets apiece.
Sind enforced the follow on and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa did only slightly better the second time around. Wickets fell at regular intervals, with only opening batsman Rafatullah Mohmand (46) and Akbar Badshah (67*) showing much fight. Kaneria did most of the damage once again, picking up six wickets in a 21.5-over spell. Supported by fast bowler Sohail Khan and left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti, he bundled Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa out for 216 to hand Sind an innings-and-110-run win.
Baluchistan require a mammoth 413 to beat Punjab at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Though they began the task reasonably, ending day three on 145 for 2, scoring 268 on a day-four pitch could prove tricky. If Baluchistan settle for a draw and get there, that would be a commendable result, considering they were shot out for 126 in their first innings.
Punjab, resuming on 215 for 4 - with a lead of 324 - looked for quick runs. Overnight centurion Imran Farhat was bowled by Mohammad Irfan on 128, but the lower order managed a series of cameos at strike-rates of over 100 to get the lead past 400. Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, as Punjab declared on 303 for 9. Baluchistan opener Zain Abbas was bowled by first innings wrecker-in-chief Mohammad Khalil cheaply, but a 110-run stand between Shoaib Khan Jr and Saeed Anwar Jr steadied the innings. Punjab had the last say though, dismissing Shoaib just prior to stumps for 84.
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