KARACHI:Central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa sealed comfortable wins over Balochistan and Southern Punjab, respectively, on the penultimate day of the eighth round of the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy on Wednesday.
Central Punjab recorded their third consecutive victory as the defending champions chased down a meagre 47 at the loss of one wicket inside 13.5 overs at the State Bank Stadium. Ali Zaryab, who became the first batsman from his side to record a century this season in the first innings, was unbeaten on 22 as he took Central Punjab over the line in the afternoon session.
Their captain Hasan Ali completed his second five-wicket haul of the match earlier in the day as Balochistan were bowled out for 285 in their second innings after they were forced to follow-on yesterday.
The right-arm pacer took five wickets for 76 runs – two coming on the third day. His match figures were 10 for 108.
Balochistan had a deficit of 109 runs as they were 130 for six at the start of play but half-centuries from Umaid Asif (69) and Jalat Khan (65) ensured that Central Punjab batted again.
Following the impressive win, Central Punjab have jumped to 102 points as they bagged 26 points – 16 for outright win, four for batting and six for bowling – from the match.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa consolidated their position as the leaders of the six-team points table with a thumping 10-wicket win against Southern Punjab at the UBL Sports Complex. The victory added 23 points – 16 for outright win, three for batting and four for bowling – to their tally.
Sajid Khan’s fifth five-wicket haul of the season and captain Khalid Usman’s three for 79 restricted Southern Punjab to 290 in their reply of a daunting 487.
Aamer Yamin, with a scorching 55-ball 93, which included eight sixes and as many fours, was the top-scorer, while opener Zain Abbas added 12 runs to his overnight score before he was dismissed on 76 by Sajid.
With a lead of 197 runs, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa enforced follow-on, a decision which yielded the desired result as a three-fer from Khalid and two wickets each from Sajid and Fakhar Zaman bundled out Southern Punjab for 200.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa required four runs to win, which Musadiq Ahmed (six not out) chased down in three balls.
That Southern Punjab reached 200 was due to Mohammad Umair’s 77 (102, 11 fours). The next best score in the innings was from Saif Badar, who scored 26.
At the National Stadium, Sindh, who are placed at the bottom of the points table, were six wickets away from registering a victory with an innings margin as Northern had a 185-run second innings deficit at the close of play.
In front of broadcast cameras, Sindh captain Asad Shafiq lifted his side to a mammoth 514 for eight (declared) with a classy century before Northern, batting for the second time in the match, were reduced to 126 for four.
Asad converted his overnight score of 46 to 117 not out – his 25th first-class century. The 34-year-old smashed 13 fours in the 191 balls he faced.
Saad Ali turned his 23 not out to 44 before he was dismissed by Mohammad Nawaz, who recorded his second five-wicket haul with five for 108.
Northern’s Faizan Riaz and Hammad Azam were the only notable run-getters on the penultimate day of the contest with the scores of 31 and 25 not out. Azizullah, Shahnawaz Dhani and Abrar Ahmed picked up a wicket each.
When the play resumes on the fourth and final morning of the match, Hammad will be joined by Mubasir Khan (one not out).