Hamza ten puts Karachi Whites on top
Pacer Mir Hamza's maiden first-class ten-wicket haul ensured Karachi Whites held on to an innings and 140-run victory over Quetta in Karachi. The win cements their place at the top of the Group II table in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and gives them a 13-point lead over second-placed Multan.
Karachi Whites batted first, and despite being at 76 for 3 at one point, were able to rally around through the efforts of captain Asif Zakir (85) and Wajid Ali (46). Karachi Whites eventually reached 250, despite pacer Faizullah's maiden five-wicket haul of 5 for 49, which was ably supported by Gohar Faiz's 3 for 74.
Quetta's innings started horribly, with Hamza in sensational form. Quetta were in all sorts of trouble at 13 for 5 as Hamza plucked out the first four batsmen, before adding No. 6 batsman Naushad Irshad to his tally to get 5 for 16 in just eight overs. Only Mohibullah crossed double figures as Quetta folded for just 45 within 19 overs.
With a lead of 205, Karachi Whites asked Quetta to follow on, and with the first innings collapse still fresh on the batsmen's minds, they were unable to supersede the effort in their second innings. Once again Hamza wreaked havoc, dismissing four of the top five batsmen in an almost eerie reflection of the previous innings. Taimur Ali and Taimur Khan were able to cross double figures, with Ali top-scoring with 31. But the Quetta failed to resist the Karachi White bowlers, specially Hamza, who finished with match figures of 16-5-25-10. Shahzaib Ahmed provided notable support with figures of 3 for 10 as Quetta were bundled for a paltry 65.
Fast bowler Zohaib Shera's maiden ten-wicket haul gave Karachi Blues' an innings and 107-run victory over Lahore Ravi, which pushed them up to second place on 16 points in Group I, just behind group leaders, Rawalpindi, who are ahead by three points. After being put into bat, Karachi Blues were off to a shaky start, with the top three falling for insignificant scores.
From 51 for 3, Abdul Jabbar and Ashraf Ali began to consolidate their position, adding 54 runs for the fourth wicket. A 64-run stand for the sixth wicket began to give Karachi Blues hope as their lower order posted meaningful contributions to take the side to 285. Bilawal Iqbal ended up with best figures of 4 for 62, ably supported by Aleem Yousuf's 3 for 76.
In reply, Lahore Ravi started off rather badly, with Karachi's opening bowlers Zohaib Shera and Rajesh Ramesh running through the top and middle order to leave them at a precarious 39 for 6. Jahangir Mirza fashioned a captain's knock scoring 55 off 82 balls, but the rest of the batsmen were unable to post significant scores. Lahore Ravi crashed to 115, with Shera finishing on 5 for 36, while Ramesh chipped in with 3 for 32.
Lahore Ravi were asked to bat again, and their response was even starker than their first innings. Shera once again ran through the order, and picked up another five-wicket haul, with Waqar Anwar doing almost equal damage with 4 for 28. Lahore Ravi could only muster 63 as the batsmen folded meekly.