Southern Punjab climb to second place after clinical display in fourth round
Southern Punjab trounced Sindh by a massive margin of an innings and 129 runs courtesy of Aamer Yamin's all-round heroics as they experienced a rise of two spots in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy points table.
Meanwhile, the remaining two games in the fourth round of Pakistan's premier first-class competition ended in a draw with Central Punjab still retaining the first position.
Sindh vs Southern Punjab
Southern Punjab pace duo Bilawal Bhatti and Yamin quickly knocked off Sindh's batting line-up on the last day of the game as the home side was dismissed for a paltry score of 133, 129 runs short of erasing the first-innings deficit.
Bhatti and Yamin shared seven wickets between them with Sindh's batting unravelling without much resistance from the batters.
Earlier in the match, Yamin top-scored with an aggressive 142 featuring six maximums and 15 boundaries.
He put on 206 runs for the eighth wicket with left-arm spinner Mohammad Irfan, who also struck a belligerent ton after the template for Southern Punjab's batting charge was set by skipper Shan Masood's 205-ball 118.
Sindh could manage just 284 all out in reply to the visitors' imposing total of 546 as batsmen failed to convert starts into big scores.
Yamin also registered two wickets in Sindh's first innings while left-arm paceman Rahat Ali snared four victims.
Southern Punjab have raised their tally of points to 49 and Sindh are now placed fourth with 34 points.
Northern vs Balochistan
Balochistan batsmen fought out an exciting draw on the final day of the first-class fixture against Northern.
Requiring 299 runs for victory in 76 overs, Balochistan finished the game at 183-7 in 67 overs, managing to avoid defeat.
Beset by wickets at regular intervals, Balochistan were in danger of collapsing in pursuit of the daunting target but Imran Butt offered stubborn resistance with a patient 59 from 179 deliveries.
Northern had gained an early advantage in the match by scoring 450 in the first innings following centuries from Haider Ali and Faizan Riaz.
In response, Balochistan made 301 all out with fifties from Butt, Asif Zakir and Abu Bakar while slow left-arm bowler Nauman Ali registered the eighth five-wicket haul of his career.
Northern then declared with a lead of 298 after scoring 149-3 in just 30 overs.
Pace bowling sensation Haris Rauf took five wickets in the match but despite the strong show, Northern continue to languish at the bottom of the table with 32 points.
Balochistan have a lead of only two points over their rivals, slotted fifth in the table.
Central Punjab vs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Table-toppers Central Punjab salvaged a draw even though they seemed set for their first defeat of the tournament at one stage in the match.
Having been set a target of 319 on the last day, the Azhar Ali-led safely negotiated the remaining 50 overs in the game to reach 129-1 with Salman Butt not out at 63.
For the first time in the competition, Central Punjab were put on the back foot early when Khyber Pakhtunkhwa racked up 484-5 declared in their first innings.
Ashfaq Ahmed, the leading run-scorer in this season so far, made 173 while his captain Mohammad Rizwan struck 128 off 229 balls.
Central Punjab were found wanting against the pace of Sameen Gul in reply as the 20-year-old returned figures of 4-57 in 18 overs.
The visitors were rescued by a stunning 136 by Kamran Akmal, who played a brilliant lone hand in his side's total of 278.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa then refused to enforce the follow-on which admittedly left their bowlers less amount of time to dismiss the opposition in the fourth innings.