Pakistan teams out for 35 and 44, match suspended for dangerous pitch

Waseem Ahmed 18:07 13/10/2018
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A Quaid-e-Azam trophy match in Karachi. Image for representation.

Pakistan’s first-class cricket has come in for sharp criticism after teams were bowled out for shocking scores of 35 and 44 while another match was suspended due to dangerous conditions.

All results happened within the space of one week in Pakistan’s premier first class tournament – the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy – putting the spotlight firmly on the state of pitches in the country.

It all started with the match between Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and National Bank of Pakistan in Faisalabad last Wednesday. In the second innings of the match, National Bank of Pakistan were shot out for a paltry 44 in 17.3 overs with seamer Samiullah Khan picking up 6-11. They did better in the second innings but still lost the match by 202 runs.

Then in a Pool B game that started on Thursday, the match between Water and Power Development Authority and Sui Southern Gas Corporation in Islamabad was suspended due to dangerous pitch conditions. Left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Amir hit batsman Mohammad Saad on the helmet from a good length, prompting the umpires to call off play on Thursday.

And an unwanted hat-trick got completed on Friday as SNGPL were shot out for just 35, having earlier dismissed National Bank for 44. In their latest match, SNGPL were bowled out for the paltry total in Faisalabad with left-arm international seamer Junaid Khan snaring a stunning 7-17. What made the result even more stunning was the fact that SNGPL had proven international players like Misbah-ul-Haq, Taufeeq Umar and Adnan Akmal.

The state of pitches in Pakistan’s first-class matches has long been a concern with average scores some of the lowest across the globe. However, the situation changes in the new year when the List A matches begin as wickets become batting beauties and white-ball double hundreds becoming increasingly regular.

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