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Quaid-e-Azam Trophy | Imran Rafiq, Salman Ali Agha centuries lift Southern Punjab to second spot

Sindh vs Southern Punjab
Sindh vs Southern Punjab

Brilliant centuries by Imran Rafiq and Salman Ali Agha sealed a five-wicket win for Southern Punjab over Sindh at the State Bank Stadium on the last day of the ninth round of first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy on Wednesday.

The victory helped Southern Punjab jump a spot and secure the second place on the six-team points table as they gathered 22 points (16 for outright win, one for batting and five for bowling).

Southern Punjab were 309 runs away from their fourth win of the season when they began the day on 61 for one.

Imran Rafiq converted his overnight 26 into 130 and recorded his fourth first-class century. The left-handed batsman smashed 12 fours and two sixes and stitched a 137-run partnership for the second wicket with opener Zain Abbas, who made 81 (nine fours and two sixes).

Imran was provided solid support from the other end when Salman, who recorded his second century of the season, joined him at he crease. Their 141-run partnership set the platform for Southern Punjab’s win.

Salman made 100 off 112 balls in a knock studded with 14 fours and two sixes before he was dismissed by Tabish Khan (three for 95).

Following the defeat, Sindh slipped to the bottom of the points table.

At the National Stadium, the match between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Central Punjab ended in a draw. Central Punjab, batting for the second time in the match, set a 305-run target for table-toppers Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who were 65 for two when captains shook hands.

In front of the broadcast cameras, which telecasted action live in Pakistan and relayed the beam all over the world through PCB’s YouTube channel, Central Punjab’s Mohammad Saad recorded his second half-century of the match. He made 83, dispatching 10 of the 155 balls he faced to boundary.

Qasim Akram’s run of form continued as he scored his maiden half-century after recording his first five-wicket haul yesterday. The 18-year-old smashed six fours and a six in his 181-ball knock.

Saad Nasim followed up his brilliant 136 not out with 54 off 72.

The 10th and final round of the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, which begins on 26 December, promises exciting contests as the two final spots remain open.

Top-ranked Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (148 points) will play third-placed Northern (114 points) in a broadcast fixture at the National Stadium.

State Bank Stadium will stage the second-leg of Punjab Derby.

Sindh and Balochistan meet at the UBL Sports Complex. Both teams are out of the race for the final.


Match Summaries and Scores in brief:


At State Bank Stadium, Southern Punjab beat Sindh by five wickets

Sindh 217 all out, 64.4 overs (Mohammad Hasan 111, Saad Ali 79; Aamer Yamin 3-31, Zahid Mahmood 3-49, Zia-ul-Haq 3-63) and 399-5 dec, 85 overs (Saud Shakeel 123 not out, Sharjeel Khan 74, Saad Ali 62, Asad Shafiq 55, Khurram Manzoor 29, Omair Bin Yousuf 28; Aamer Yamin 2-85)

Southern Punjab 247 all out, 81.1 overs (Imran Rafiq 67, Zain Abbas 39, Aamer Yamin 35, Saif Badar 33; Mohammad Asghar 4-81, Shahnawaz Dhani 3-67, Tabish Khan 2-39) and 370-5, 93.4 overs (Imran Rafiq 130, Salman Ali Agha 100, Zain Abbas 81, Mohammad Umair 36 not out; Tabish Khan 3-95)

Match points: Sindh 6 (one batting, five bowling), Southern Punjab 22 (16 outright win, one batting, five bowling)


At National Stadium, match drawn between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Central Punjab

Central Punjab 351-7 dec, 107.5 overs (Saad Nasim 136 not out, Mohammad Saad 78, Usman Salahuddin 53, Ali Shan 43, Qasim Akram 25; Irfanullah Shah 3-53) and 265-7 dec, 82 overs (Mohammad Saad 83, Qasim Akram 79, Saad Nasim 54, Muhammad Akhlaq 26; Khalid Usman 2-29, Sajid Khan 2-90)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 312-7 dec, 121.4 overs (Adil Amin 96, Zohaib Khan 75, Fakhar Zaman 42, Israrullah 40, Kamran Ghulam 20; Qasim Akram 5-51) and 65-2, 21 overs (Israrullah 31 not out)

Match points: Central Punjab 9 (five draw, three batting, one bowling), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 8 (five draw, two batting, one bowling)

On Tuesday



At UBL Sports Complex, Balochistan beat Northern by an innings and five runs

 Northern 203 all out, 62.1 overs (Ali Sarfraz 38, Nasir Nawaz 31, Mohammad Nawaz 26, Waqas Ahmed 26, Sarmad Bhatti 25, Mubasir Khan 25; Kashif Bhatti 5-75, Raza-ul-Hasan 3-67) and 164 all out, 45 overs (Sarmad Bhatti 31, Umar Amin 29, ohammad Nawaz 27, Hammad Azam 20; Raza-ul-Hasan 4-50, Kashif Bhatti 4-67)

Balochistan 372 all out, 116.1 overs (Akbar-ur-Rehman 82, Imran Farhat 77, Ayaz Tasawar 69, Ali Rafiq 36, Kashif Bhatti 35; Nauman Ali 6-107, Waqas Ahmed 3-63)

Match points: Northern 3 (one batting, two bowling), Balochistan 25 (16 outright win, one bonus for innings win, three batting, five bowling)