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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa narrow gap with top-ranked Central Punjab after thumping win
Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2019

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa narrow gap with top-ranked Central Punjab after thumping win

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recorded a commandeering 211-run win over table-toppers Central Punjab to raise their points tally to 119 at the conclusion of the ninth round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

Northern also completed their second win of the tournament while Southern Punjab and Sindh battled out a high-scoring draw in the other first-class fixtures.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vs Central Punjab

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa marched to an authoritative victory at the back of a clinical bowling performance in the fourth innings.

Central Punjab succumbed to the heavy loss - their first defeat this season - following an early collapse which left them reeling at 13-4 by the end of the third day.

Mohammad Saad and Umar Akmal then resumed their battle on the final day in pursuit of the 325-run target before all-rounder Mohammad Mohsin broke the steady stand between the two.

Mohsin later returned to clean up the tail as Central Punjab were bundled out for 113 in 59.5 overs.

Umar top-scored with an attacking 43 from 76 deliveries but his resistance was cut short by off-spinner Sajid Khan.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa now trail Central Punjab by a single point as the race for the final two spots heats up.

Earlier, the Fakhar Zaman-led side were helped by fifties from Sahibzada Farhan, Israrullah, Mohsin and Khalid Usman in the first innings.

Northern vs Balochistan

After a disappointing start to their Quaid-e-Azam Trophy season, Northern have raised their standards and romped to their second win of the competition over Balochistan.

Aggressive half-centuries from Faizan Riaz and Ali Sarfaraz guided Northern to an imposing win in the ninth round clash as they reached the 192-run target in 32.2 overs.

The two fashioned a belligerent 118-run partnership with the opposition unable to halt their blistering charge.

Balochistan, facing a 42-run first-innings deficit, could register only 233 runs on the board as Northern spinner Nauman Ali picked five wickets.

Nauman has strengthened his top position among the leading wicket-takers in the tournament as Zafar Gohar trails him by 10 scalps.

Northern have now improved their ranking in the points table, graduating to No. 3 with this eight-wicket win while Balochistan languish at the bottom.

Southern Punjab vs Sindh

A fluent century from Abdul Rehman Muzammil and a hefty contribution of 76 runs from Sohaib Maqsood ensured Southern Punjab kept the Sindh bowlers at bay and completed a draw at the National Stadium.

The Sindh bowlers toiled hard on the last day to make inroads into the opposition's batting line-up as Southern Punjab finished the match at 236-5.

Earlier, a sensational double century from Fawad Alam and a stellar 131 from skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed led a strong Sindh fightback in response to Southern Punjab's mammoth total of 517-9 declared.

Sarfaraz scored his first hundred in red-ball cricket since 2014 as the two veteran players stitched a 278-run stand between them.

Despite the gutsy knocks from the duo, Sindh are out of contention for grabbing a place in the final of this year's Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

The home side possess 81 points after nine games with seven draws and two defeats.