Seventh round of first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy begins on Tuesday

KARACHI:The battle for the top two spots on the six-team points table, which will secure berths in the final, continues to heat up as the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy enters its business end with the tournament’s seventh round starting from Tuesday.

Following victories by Northern, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Central Punjab, their maiden of the season, in the sixth round, the points table has underwent a revamp of sorts.

Southern Punjab, who had been the leaders since the start of the season, slipped to third spot following a six-wicket defeat against Northern, who are now the top-ranked side.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa thrashed Balochistan, ranked fourth, by 175 runs to gather as many as 25 points and jump to the second spot. They are only six points away from the table-toppers.

It took six matches for Central Punjab, the title defenders, to record their first win of the ongoing season. But, now they have tasted a win, the Hasan Ali-led team will be hoping that it leads to a much-desired resurgence. They secured 24 points from their commanding 227-run victory against Sindh.

Central Punjab remain at the bottom of the points table, however, they have shrunk their points difference with the next best team, Sindh, to nine points.

Northern will face Central Punjab at UBL Sports Complex. The finalists of the last edition of the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy will face off for the second and last time in the group stage.

Southern Punjab will take on Balochistan at National Stadium. The two teams enter the contest, which will be broadcast on PTV Sports in Pakistan and beamed across the globe through PCB’s YouTube channel, at the back of heavy defeats, which must have sent them back to the drawing board in the two-day gap.

Sindh will play against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at State Bank Stadium. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa enter the contest with an astounding 175-run win against Balochistan and are one of the two sides – other being Northern – to have won three out of six matches.