Nauman Ali helps Northern set up final date with Central Punjab

Nauman Ali helps Northern set up final date with Central Punjab

KARACHI: Skipper Nauman Ali bowled superbly to enable spirited Northern to set up final date with Central Punjab when they overwhelmed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by 39 runs in their gripping last round outing of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (first-class) here at UBL Sports Complex on Thursday.

The final will be held from December 27-31 here at National Stadium.

On the fourth and final day, Nauman, who had taken 2-56 in the first innings, claimed 4-72 in 28 overs to dismiss KP for 205 in 76.4 overs while chasing 245 after resuming at 39-2.

Left-arm experienced pacer Sadaf Hussain ably supplemented the efforts of his skipper as he took 2-44 in 19 overs to finish the match with 3-111.

Zohaib Khan (51*) applied himself but could not save the match. Zohaib smashed four fours and one six from 122 balls. Israrullah (50) also resisted bravely, cracking seven fours in his 64-ball knock.

Middle-order batsman Adil Amin chipped in with 31 off 60 deliveries, hitting four fours. Usman Shinwari scored 17 off 73 balls, striking three fours. Northern posted 411-8 declared and 139-6 declared. KP had scored 306 all out in their first innings.

Northern collected full 24 points to finish with 130 points to occupy the second spot on the six-team table behind Central Punjab who finished at the summit with 133 points. KP finished at the third spot with 124 points.

Here at SBP Ground, the match between Central Punjab and Southern Punjab ended in a draw with Salman Butt and stand-in skipper Ahmed Shehzad scoring centuries for the former who needed just a draw to make it to the decider.

Central Punjab, who had gained a 205-run lead, resumed their second innings at one without loss and reached 309-1 in 81 overs. It was a perfect day for former Pakistan captain Salman Butt who scored a solid 158 not out, his third century of the season which took his overall run-tally in the event to 827.

The left-handed Butt smashed 19 fours in the 256-ball unfinished knock. He stayed at the wicket for 304 minutes. He scored 124 for the opening stand with Kamran Akmal, who chipped in with 47 off 72 balls, hitting five deliveries to the fence. Kamran took his personal run-tally to 865. He is the second highest scorer in the tournament so far.

Butt then put on 185 for the second wicket with Shehzad who scored 100 not out, his second ton of the match. Shehzad hit ten fours and two sixes in his excellent knock.

Spinner Agha Salman got 1-77 in 24 overs, for a match-haul of 4-162.

Central Punjab had scored 597-9 declared in their first innings. Southern Punjab, in response, were bowled out for 392.

Central Punjab collected 13 points (five batting, three bowling points and five points for a draw) from the match and topped the six-team league phase. Southern Punjab finished fourth with 112 points.

Here at National Stadium the match between Sindh and Balochistan also did not yield any result.

In response to Balochistan’s first innings total of 471-9 declared, Sindh resumed their innings at 356-5 and were bowled out for 515 in 170.1 overs.

Fawad Alam, who was batting on 69, slammed 116, his fourth century of the season. He finished the tournament with 781 runs.

The left-hander hit 12 fours and a six from 223 balls. Anwar Ali made 58 off 117 balls, striking nine fours. Left-arm pacer Taj Wali (3-122) and spinner Jalat Khan (3-96) were the successful bowlers. After conceding a 44-run lead, Balochistan had reached 181-1 in their second innings when the fixture ended. Opener Imran Butt (101) hit his fourth century of the season, cracking 15 fours from 99 balls.

He finished the season with 934 and currently holds the top spot. He can be displaced by Kamran Akmal or Salman Butt who stand second and fourth, respectively. Imran Farhat made 40 not out.

Saud Shakeel took 1-47. Sindh finished fifth with 90 points. Balochistan ended at the sixth spot with 84 points.

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