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Karachi Whites well placed in Quaid Trophy final

Karachi Whites put themselves in driving seat in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy Grade-I cricket championship final after obtaining a 102-run lead on the first innings against Peshawar at National Stadium here Saturday

Khalid H. Khan
Karachi Whites put themselves in driving seat in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy Grade-I cricket championship final after obtaining a 102-run lead on the first innings against Peshawar at National Stadium here Saturday.
By close of play on day two of the five-day clash, the home team had Peshawar struggling at 164 for four in their second innings with the last pair of specialist batsmen at the crease.
Peshawar's slim hopes of setting a reasonable target for their bowlers rest squarely on the shoulders of Yasir Hameed, who is batting with a composed 60, and all-rounder Taimur Khan (3). But with only 62 runs in front, Peshawar are in considerable trouble at the moment.
Collectively, 287 runs were scored Saturday for the loss of nine wickets compared to opening day's 295 runs with as many 15 wickets going down. This generally suggests that the pitch is beginning to ease out in favour of the batsmen.
Karachi Whites lost their skipper Moin Khan in the day's third over when Kabir Khan won a LBW verdict after just five runs were added to the overnight 137 for five.
All-rounders Imran Javed and Arif Mahmood were the main scorers for the Whites with both hitting half-centuries. Imran, who was let off on 32 late Friday, top-scored with 57 before being adjudged leg-beforewicket by Test umpire Mohammad Nazir Junior.
Imran's 96-ball knock in a stay of nearly two-and-a-half hours was spiced with eight boundaries and his seventh-wicket stand with Arif realized 46 runs in 57 minutes.
Arif, a strongly built right-handed batsman, took heavy toll of Fazle Akbar's short-pitched deliveries by smashing boundaries with hooks, pulls and cuts. In all, Arif struck nine fours in his 73-ball 54 in just over two hours. His luck finally ran out when he flashed at a wide delivery outside the off-stump but only succeeded in becoming wicket-keeper Zulfiqar Jan's fourth victim.
Tanvir Ahmed, who added 44 with Arif for the ninth-wicket in 43 minutes, was left stranded with 25, which included four fours.
Kabir bowled unchanged in the two-hour morning session to claim three for 37 in 13 overs from the pavilion end. His final figures of three for 65 were only bettered by his left-arm team-mate Waqar Ahmed, who finished well deserved five for 74.
Fazle Akbar, Peshawar's spearhead, was extremely disappointing Saturday by spraying the ball all over the place during a forgetful spell of six overs for 36.
Peshawar's second innings began shortly after lunch when the Whites had been bowled out for 260.
Javed Iqbal hit a brace of attractive boundaries until he tried an ambitious stroke and was brilliantly taken by Moin Khan behind the stumps.
Zeeshan Mohsin, the other opener, was forced to come off the field with a slight hamstring on his left leg one run after Javed was out. But he came at the fall of third wicket to share the most productive partnership in the innings. Together with Yasir, Zeeshan put on 59 before his exuberance got the better of him.
In the penultimate over of the day, Zeeshan, attempted to lift Danish Kaneria over mid-on but only found a grateful Tanvir holding onto a well-judged catch.
Zeeshan stroked eight boundaries in scoring 40 off 64 balls in 102 minutes. Otherwise, he really looks a fine prospect for the future if properly nurtured.
In between, Wajahatullah Wasti, the Test discard, played an outrageous shot to get out when he cut Kaneria straight down Saeed bin Nasir's throat at point. Peshawar desperately needed Wajahat, who scored a match-winning 135 in the final on the very same ground three years ago, to bail them out.
Aftab Khan, who led Peshawar to the Under-19 Grade-I title this season, can considered himself unfortunate to be given out LBW to Imran Javed bowling from the edge of the crease. Aftab was well-set on 20 when umpire Iftikhar Malik sent him on his way.