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QeA Trophy final ends in a tie after Hasan Ali's incredible 58-ball ton
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QeA Trophy final ends in a tie after Hasan Ali's incredible 58-ball ton

The 2020/21 edition of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy could not have asked for a better finish as the grand finale between Central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ended in a historic tie.

Only the 67th tied encounter in the rich history of first-class cricket and the first such result in any final of a first-class competition, it all came right down to the wire when Waqas Maqsood was dismissed by tournament's leading wicket-taker Sajid Khan.

With just one run needed to pull off a dream comeback, last man Waqas slammed a fuller-length delivery from the off-spinner straight to mid-on to spark scenes of jubilation and bewilderment.

Defending champions Central Punjab began day five on 140/2 in pursuit of the steep target of 356. Their efforts to drive the team's progress were soon undone in the face of spirited bowling from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Mohammad Saad was dismissed in the first over of the day followed by the departure of Saad Nasim for a low score.

The resolute Usman Salahuddin, who had crawled to 67 at a strike rate of just over 33, was the next man to be sent back to the pavilion when he was caught behind off the bowling of Irfanullah Shah.

Qasim Akram and Ali Shan's scalps left Central Punjab reeling at 202/7 as skipper Hasan walked out to the middle to revive his team's hopes for an unlikely win.

Hasan then fashioned a belligerent masterclass that propelled CP forward at a rapid rate. Hasan signalled his attacking intentions early in the innings when he punished Sajid for a ruthless onslaught, smacking him for three fours and two sixes in one over.

While his batting partner Bilawal Iqbal fell to Arshad Iqbal, Hasan continued his fearless approach and thrived on the back of some immaculate power-hitting.

He reached his half-century in just 26 balls and was assisted in his boundary barrage by 22-year-old Ahmed Safi Abdullah, who contributed a 23-ball 35.

Abdullah's wicket threatened to alleviate Hasan's aggressive mindset as only 37 runs separated them from pulling off a miraculous heist.

However, Hasan dispatched Khalid Usman for a four and a six in the very next over and brought up his 58-ball ton during the over bowled by Irfanullah.

Hasan hit another four after reaching the magical three-figure mark but had to watch Waqas botch the chance for earning a splendid win from the other end.

Hasan was named player of the final and player of the tournament for his outstanding heroics with both bat and ball throughout the event. KP's Sajid and Kamran Ghulam were declared the best bowler and best batsman of the tournament respectively.

This result marks the first time in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy that both teams participating in the final will share the title.