KARACHI: Karachi Blues rode on spectacular double centuries by skipper Asad Shafiq and Fawad Alam to earn their first-class status as they defeated Multan, courtesy their first innings lead after the match ended in a draw, in their Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Grade II final at the Pindi Stadium yesterday.
The fourth and last day of the match began with Karachi Blues 173-4 in their second innings. Alam and Shafiq registered a strong 335-run stand to take their side to 552-5 before declaring after 124 overs of play.
Alam made 202 off 268 balls, studded with 18 boundaries, while Shafiq made 222 off 283 balls, which included 28 boundaries.
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Karachi Blues declared their innings just before the play was about to be concluded which ended the match in a draw.
However, with their first innings lead where Karachi made 462 and Multan 250, Karachi Blues were declared winners and secured their place in the country’s top-tier cricket tournament — the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
“This is really a proud moment for me and my team to qualify for first-class cricket. I wish I had made this double-century in first-class [so that we never would have been relegated],” said Shafiq after the match.
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Pacer Sohail Khan, who took three wickets in the first innings, praised the way Alam and Shafiq held their ground.
“Our hard work paid off. Our batsmen in both innings batted tremendously,” said Sohail. “Alam and Shafiq were not able to score big in the first innings but they made amends in the second with their double centuries.”
Karachi Blues along with PIA, who won the Patron’s Trophy Grade II tournament, will join 14 other teams in the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2016.
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