Rawalpindi ran up a mammoth first-innings 601 on the final day of their second-round Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match against hosts Abbottabad, as the game tapered out into a draw.
In response to Abbottabad's 376 Rawalpindi replied with 352 for 4 by the close of play on the third day. Getting the lead was just a matter of time. The partnership that boosted Rawalpindi's total was a 256-run stand for the fifth wicket after the team had slipped to 106 for 4. 21-year-old Usman Saeed top-scored with a magnificent 243, that came off 471 balls in two minutes above ten hours, with the help of 30 fours and two sixes.
Usman played for the champion Pakistan team in the 2004 Under-19s World Cup held in Bangladesh. The double-hundred was, however, only his third three-figure score in a 34-match first-class career. He was given able support from Yasir Ali, who scored 129 from 285 balls in five minutes short of six hours with 14 fours and three sixes. Yasir, still only 22, played in a Test match for Pakistan four years ago even before he had made his first-class debut. A right-arm fast-medium bowler, this was his first century, his previous highest of 63 being his only fifty-plus score.
Usman's sixth-wicket stand with skipper Naved Ashraf (23) was worth 54 while wicket-keeper Zahid Mansoor (47) joined him to add another 132 for the seventh wicket. The match in Abbottabad started a day late on Saturday as the original venue - the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - was not available due to repairs.
Rawalpindi gained three first-innings-lead points that took their tally to 12. They are placed at No. 2 behind Islamabad, who have 18 points from two appearances in Group B. Rawalpindi now meet top-of-the-table Islamabad in a third-round Group B match, starting at the Diamond Cricket Club Ground in Islamabad from Thursday. Abbottabad have a rest until the fourth round.