Shahid Afridi's Sindh edged closer to the Pentangular Cup Title as they ended day 2 of their championship deciding match against Punjab with a lead of 119 runs.
Winning the toss, Afridi put Punjab in on a green top Karachi wicket. The Sindh bowlers, led by Sohail Khan's 4 top order wickets, bowled Punjab's in form batsmen out for 184. Sohail's victims included internationals Salman Butt, Misbah Ul Haq, and Kamran Akmal.
He tops the list for most wickets this season with 89 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 18.68.
That includes 21 wickets in 4 matches at an average of 16.33 in the on going pentangular cup. He tops the wickets list for this competition as well.
His haul includes as many as 10 five wicket hauls and 2 ten wicket hauls with an innings best of 9-109 and a match best of 16-189, which broke a 50 year old national record.
I don't remember any bowler creating such an impression on the domestic scene since Waqar Younis 2 decades ago. Its a pity the Aussies aren't touring, otherwise it would have been a good test for the 23 year old fast bowler. Or maybe for Ricky Ponting.
In response Sindh reached 303-6 at the end of day 2 on the back of a 140 run 4th wicket partnership between Rizwan Ahmed (79) and Faisal Iqbal (65). Wahab Riaz, the 2nd highest wicket taker this season, took 4 of the 6 Sindh wickets to fall including those of opener Khalid Latif (21), Rizwan, Faisal, and this season's leading run scorer Naumanullah (4).
With Fawad Alam (29) and Sarfraz Ahmed (25) at the crease, Sindh look set to gain a substantial lead and a possible innings victory given the kind of form Sohail Khan & Co. are in.
Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf missed the match due to 'personal reasons'. I wonder if those had anything to do with a green top. Misbah is captaining Punjab in Malik's absence.
Stay tuned for updates.