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Salman, Azhar tons power Central Punjab to strong position


Northern vs Sindh, Rawalpindi
At the close of rain-shortened opening day, where only 40 overs could be bowled, Northern were 86/2 by stumps, with Rohail Nazir was batting on 17 and Ali Sarfraz on 3. Afaq Raheem (19) and Haider Ali (26) gave Northern a decent start, putting on 44 runs before both were out in a space of 14 runs. When the score was 71, captain Umar Amin (17) was run out. Right-arm pace bowler Tabish Khan and left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti claimed a wicket each for 21 and 12 runs respectively.
Brief Scores: Northern 86/2 in 40 overs (Haider Ali 26; Tabish Khan 1-21, Kashif Bhatti 1-13) vs Sindh
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Southern Punjab, Abbottabad
On a rain-affected day at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium that allowed only 32.5 overs of play, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa openers, Sahibzada Farhan and Israrullah, smashed half-centuries after winning the toss and opting to bat first. They finished the day at 126 for no loss at a position of strength. The day began with a 150-minute delay, thanks to the overnight rain, before early afternoon showers allowed only one session of play.
Brief scores: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 126 for no loss (Sahibzada Farhan 63*, Israrullah 52*) vs Southern Punjab
Balochistan vs Central Punjab, Quetta
Azhar Ali followed up his match-winning century from a couple of days ago with a 165-ball 123, which included 20 fours as Central Punjab piled on 335 for 5 by stumps. His fellow opener, Salman Butt, too notched up a century of his own as the duo put up a 237-run opening stand.
Azhar's wicket triggered a mini-collapse, with Central Punjab losing three wickets for just 17 runs, before Kamran Akmal counter-attacked for a 28-ball 24 to arrest the slide.
Brief scores: Central Punjab 338/5 (Salman Butt 152*, Azhar Ali 123; Yasir Shah 2-103) vs Balochistan

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