Sindh 230 for 7 (Mehmood 56*, Alam 38*, Musa 2-53, Mubasir 2-59) vs Northern
Cometh the hour, cometh the man – with some help. Fawad Alam has not had a bad season, certainly not poor enough to have been dropped from the Pakistan Test side. But it has not been as prolific, perhaps, as previous seasons; an average of 57 masking a series of starts that he has not cashed in on. But on the first day of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy final at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, there he was doing what Fawad Alam has been doing pretty much all his career: saving his side.
Having been put into bat, Alam arrived with Sindh relatively stable at 112 for 3. But over the afternoon session, they would fall to 151 for 7 against Northern, before an unbroken 79-run stand between Alam and Asif Mehmood took Sindh to a slightly more secure 230 for 7 when the end arrived nine overs early because of fading light. Mehmood was the real hero, an 89-ball unbeaten 56 at close his maiden first class fifty. But Alam’s presence through the collapse and then the partnership itself was exactly the calm Sindh needed.
At the centre of Sindh’s mini collapse was Mubasir Khan, the young offspinning allrounder who has, in some ways, been the player of the season. He’s the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament this season and has scored over 500 runs for the season at an average above 50. He took two wickets today, building on the two early breakthroughs provided by Mohammad Musa Khan in the morning session.
Both sides are missing key players, called up for Pakistan’s Test squad as they prepare for the series with England. Both the regular captains – Northern’s Nauman Ali and Sindh’s Saud Shakeel are currently with Pakistan, while Sarfaraz Ahmed, the leggie Zahid Mehmood and this season’s breakthrough, Sindh’s Abrar Ahmed are also with the Pakistan squad.