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Centuries from Akmal brothers maintains Central Punjab's dominance
Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2019

Centuries from Akmal brothers maintains Central Punjab's dominance

Exceptional batting performances from Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal helped Central Punjab hold on to a draw in their clash against Sindh to ensure they retain their top position in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy points table.

Meanwhile, a resilient show from Southern Punjab withstood Northern's victory charge while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa clinched their maiden win of the tournament with a clinical display against Balochistan.

Sindh vs Central Punjab

Central Punjab were in a precarious spot shortly after the resumption of play on the final day as overnight centurion Umar Akmal and Salman Butt (83) departed in quick succession.

Usman Salahuddin also fell to Tabish Khan soon after leaving the visitors reeling at 234-5 with a slender lead of 141.

Senior wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal then produced a sublime innings in the company of all-rounder Zafar Gohar as the two put on 227 runs for the sixth wicket.

Kamran struck 26 boundaries during his splendid knock of 166 from 212 deliveries, bringing up the 33rd ton of his first-class career.

Zafar, the more reserved of the two individuals, hit 13 fours in his substantial contribution of 75 off 131 balls.

When Anwar Ali finally broke the mammoth stand, the match was heading towards an imminent draw.

Eventually, the captains shook hands as Central Punjab finished the day on 499 for nine.

Earlier in the game, Sindh had acquired a 93-run first-innings advantage following fifties from Khurram Manzoor, Jaahid Ali, Fawad Alam and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed.

The draw allows Central Punjab to consolidate their lead in the points table with 117 points while winless Sindh are slotted in the fifth position.

Northern vs Southern Punjab

The eighth-round Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match between the two sides saw a vastly improved batting display from Southern Punjab in the second innings that helped them salvage a draw.

Southern Punjab were also aided by rain interruptions on the final day permitting only 47 overs of play.

Northern had posted an impressive 463-7 declared in the first innings courtesy of an unbeaten century from Hammad Azam.

In reply, Southern Punjab were bundled out for 268 with Shadab Khan - the pick of the bowlers - returning figures of 3-33.

Rare failures from Sami Aslam did little to hamper Southern Punjab's spirited fightback later in the game as Umar Siddiq sculpted his 12th first-class hundred to surmount the trail.

Sohaib Maqsood's attacking half-century bolstered the visitors' batting charge as they ended the match at 271-4.

Southern Punjab are currently ranked third in the table with Northern close behind in fourth place.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Balochistan

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa handed a heavy drubbing to Balochistan as they romped to victory inside three days.

The Fakhar Zaman-led side registered their first win of the competition after Balochistan's batting folded for less than 150 in both innings.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's margin of victory was an innings and 122 runs as off-spinner Sajid Khan starred with four wickets in Balochistan's second-innings collapse.

Bismillah Khan offered brief resistance with a punchy 40 but no batter occupied the crease for a long period of time.

Left-arm quicks Junaid Khan and Usman Shinwari had scythed through Balochistan's batting lineup in their first innings.

The two pacemen shared seven wickets between them as bottom-ranked Balochistan scrambled to 146 all out in 51 overs.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa rode on an emphatic ton from Zohaib Khan and a handy contribution from Shinwari to post a competitive total of 385 all out, which proved to be too much for the opposing team.

The thumping win has resulted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vaulting to the second position in the points table.

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