The delayed declaration
Karachi Whites set a slew of batting records for this year's Quaid-e-Azam trophy after batting first, amassing 600 for six in the first innings, this season's highest team score. It included, predictably, mammoth contributions, none more so than Shehzar Mohammad. He scored 265, the highest individual score in the QeA this season. On either side of him, Saad Ali, the highest aggregate scorer in the QeA last season, smashed 129, while opener Omair Yousuf accumulated 163.
After bowling out Multan for 273, with less than a full day remaining in the game, you might have expected captain Anwar Ali - an experienced international cricketer - to have put Multan back in immediately. Instead, Karachi decided to bat again. Even more bizarrely, that innings saw a scoring rate of 2.5, as Karachi crawled to 73 in 29 overs, before finally putting Multan back in. They showed far greater intent in the 49 overs they batted, putting up 235 for six, as Karachi found themselves four wickets short of victory.
It won't impact their progress into the Super Eight, with the Whites joint second on 34 points, but it was a unusual approach to a game they might have backed themselves to get sewn up.
Yet another Pakistan fast bowling prodigy?
For all the complaints about the QeA, it is a spell like this one that makes everything worthwhile. Nasim, making waves on the domestic circuit as an up-and-coming fast bowler, had a dream of a debut first-class game. After bowling just four overs for ZTBL in the first innings, it was the second go that saw him showcase a glimpse of the exciting future he may have ahead of him.
In 20 overs, he took six wickets for 59 as PTV were bowled out for 241, but it was the brimming potential of the debutant that most enticed. With a clean, front-on action, he showed the full repertoire of deliveries he was confident bowling. There were balls that swung either way, raw pace that had batsmen ducking for cover, sometimes unsuccessfully. The best part? Nasim is fifteen!
So no pressure, kid. Actually, who are we fooling? In Pakistan, the concept of giving a budding young fast bowler space is as non-existent as it is essential.
All or nothing
In the game between WAPDA and SSGC, moderation was in short supply. After the game was called off on the first day after 6.1 overs due to a dangerous pitch, play resumed on day two after the groundstaff had, presumably, made running repairs on it. WAPDA were bowled out for 182 (Mohammad Amir, dropping back into the first-class competition after his ouster from the national team, took three wickets), and we seemed to have a game on.
But it appears the pitch flattened out completely, with SSGC piling up 581 for nine in what would have been a backbreaking 161 overs for WAPDA's bowlers. You can tell because by the end, even Kamran Akmal had been called upon to bowl a couple.
And that was the cue for the match to end. WAPDA might wonder why they resumed after the first day's abandonment anyway.