The sun is shining and it's a beautiful morning at National Stadium, Karachi.
Azhar Ali and Salman Butt are rollicking along nicely and ticking the scoreboard on the second day. Central Punjab posses an imposing batting line-up that features Babar Azam, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Faheem Ashraf and Bilal Asif. They all have international experience and it would require a herculean effort to get better of them.
31.5 Cometh the moment cometh the man! Muhammad Musa spears in an incredible full-length delivery that rips through the stumps and disturbs the furniture. Set batsman Salman Butt is dismissed on 74 but he has done substantial damage and there is still a lot of batting to come.
Musa has provided the breakthrough and the entire Northern team is looking pumped up. The fielders suddenly look switched on and are throwing themselves on the field to stem the run flow.
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Babar Azam has arrived on the crease and arrived big time in international cricket this year as well. One thing we know about Babar is that he seldom throws his wicket away and Northern will be very lucky if he departs on a soft dismissal.
Trail is under 100 and Azhar has scored a responsible knock of fifty runs (he is not done yet); he struck eight delicious boundaries so far in his innings and he usually makes it count when he gets through that initial tricky period.
Live Score: CP vs NOR, FINAL, Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2019
It's one-way traffic at the moment as Central Punjab tighten their grip in this grand finale and have dominated the morning session with Northern just managing one scalp.
It's a pleasure to watch Babar bat and revel while he executes pristine cover-drives and the kind of form he is in these days, it doesn't look like he is going to miss out on capitalizing on this good start.
Azhar scored a century against Sri Lanka at this ground recently and he would dearly like to get more runs under his belt especially considering the fact that Pakistan doesn't play a lot of Test cricket and threat looms over Bangladesh Test series as well, therefore it's advantageous to spend as much time as possible out there in the middle against the best talent in Pakistan.
Babar thumps a fifty
The world of cricket marvels at Babar who is simply a delight to watch. No respite for Northern as they are up against some quality batsmen and they look deflated as Central Punjab eyes a colossal first innings total.
60.4 Babar taken out of the equation! Sadaf Hussain hurls a searing delivery angled across and wide of off, Babar flashes hard, gets a thick outside edge and the fielder at second slip gobbles it up gleefully. It was a tempting delivery and Babar wanted to thwack it down to the backward point, just couldn't get on the top of the bounce and Northern can now smell blood!
Azhar makes an effortless hundred
Test team captain oozes calmness on the crease and gyrates to his century without much fuss. The lead is now past 50 and it's starting to look like a mismatch between the two sides. It's a powerful batting line-up which is taking the game away from hapless Northern side.
Akmal brothers forge a partnership
Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal are piling up runs like they were always conditioned to operate in this manner. The younger brother just smashed a quickfire century in a belligerent style while playing the role of an aggressor in this stand and the elder Akmal is within touching distance of his fifty.
95.6 And just when I was praising the brothers, Kamran miscues a drive and slices it straight to Ali Sarfraz at cover-point. Hammad Azam gets his first wicket and now Northern have a window of opportunity to sneak a couple more wickets as the lead soars to 190 and we are heading towards the close on the second day.
Northern peaked at the right time in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and booked their berth in the Final by some dazzling performances of late and they are up against table-toppers Central Punjab.