Good Morning! Welcome to Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final live coverage. Both teams are striving to achieve the ultimate glory at picturesque National Stadium, Karachi.
Northern peaked at the right time in the QeA Trophy and booked their berth in the final by some dazzling performances of late but they have got a tough ask to challenge the table-toppers 'Central Punjab (CP)'.
Second Day Report: Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Final
Central Punjab's batsmen insatiable hunger for runs has put them in a commanding position; they dominated the proceedings so far in this final tussle and there has been little to cheer for Northern - who have only managed five wickets so far.
Scroll down for the latest updates on the QeA final
Umar Akmal exuded great confidence and played with his natural flair yesterday and is unbeaten after hitting a quickfire century.
Will Northern make inroads in the morning session or wait for a declaration?
Live Score: CP vs NOR, FINAL, Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2019
There is a sparse crowd at National Stadium on a chilly Sunday morning and this was the trend in Pakistan-Sri Lanka Test as well. The one-sided affair doesn't help pull crowds too.
Northern need some inspiration from someone; can Muhammad Musa be the catalyst for a flurry of wickets or the skipper Nauman Ali, with his bag of tricks, could trouble with his off-spin?
At the moment, Umar Akmal is approaching 150 and has already struck a few coruscating boundaries in this morning session.
Umar marches to 150
Umar remains a force to reckon with in domestic cricket and even though he wasn't able to translate his magnificence to international cricket against Sri Lanka in the limited-overs, he is showing a penchant for scoring big runs in this all-important final.
Umar Akmal brings up his second first-class double century ??????— Cricingif (@_cricingif) December 29, 2019
Central Punjab are 658/6 and lead Northern by 404 runs in Karachi ??
Live Report ?? https://t.co/xULKdVnJs1#CPvNOR #QeA19?? pic.twitter.com/FeezM8ih6L
The lead is already a significant one, in excess of 250, and Northern look out of sorts as their wretched bowling performance continues.
The declaration is on the cards and the scoring rate has accelerated a bit after Umar reached his milestone.
126.6 Zafar Gohar rocks back and latches onto the half-tracker by Hammad Azam, tugs it away with disdain over backward square for a blistering boundary. He has got four first-class fifties and a century which means he can bat.
Zafar joins the run-fest with fifty, Umar inching towards double ton
131.1 It's a batting paradise with no real turn for the spinners and lack of pace on offer for the quick bowlers. Zafar is showing his all-round abilities and is cutting loose as he just hit a maximum off a harmless delivery looped up by Nauman. Lead stretches to 312!
Unstoppable Umar hares to 200
Umar Akmal is just five runs shy of the double century. He will make the headlines again and who knows some consistent performances might pave the way for yet another international comeback.
However, he is up against an untaxing bowling attack and is getting assistance from the placid wicket but that being said, getting to a double ton is no joke. It is 600 on the board and counting!
Zafar and Umar back in the hut
As CP look to push on and get some quick runs, Umar gets outsmarted by Musa and Zafar misses out on a hundred (dismissed for 99); Faizan Riaz got the better of him.
CP declare at 675/8
155.1 Bilal lofts it over the bowler's head and it went miles in the air. Hammad Azam at long-on covered a lot of distance, lined under it and swallowed it up well in the end. Central Punjab, finally, declare and Northern can breathe a sigh of relief.
The onus will be on Northern batsmen to step up to the plate and see off the new ball first. Solid contributions from the top order would be required if they want to take this game deep. The deficit will be 421 when they will come out to bat.
Central Punjab, finally, declare at 675/8d with a gargantuan lead of 421 runs. Northern will have to bat out of their skins to save this match— Cricingif (@_cricingif) December 29, 2019
Live Report ?? https://t.co/xULKdVnJs1#CPvNOR #QeA19?? pic.twitter.com/gWCMbOo2AV
11.1 Haider Ali dispatches the juicy full toss through square leg for a sizzling boundary. Nailed the sweep shot to perfection as Zafar misses his target. So far, so good for Northern, 35 runs on the board with no loss of wicket.
Zeeshan and Haider put up fifty run stand
Zeeshan Malik spanked back to back boundaries in the 13th over and takes on Zafar. The first boundary was heaved over extra cover and the second was clonked through midwicket. Let's see how long the openers can continue.
15.4 Haider skips down the track and lofts it over vacant mid-off region for another boundary. They are not going in a shell and apparently aren't overwhelmed by the massive deficit. Zafar is under the pump!
Bilal Asif gets one to grip off the surface and breaks the opening partnership. 100 is up on the board but as the pitch starts to deteriorate, the ball is starting to turn out of the rough and it will require plenty of focus from Umar Amin and Haider to bat through the remaining overs in the day.
Faheem produces a ripper and removes Umar Amin