Bilal, Umar propel Central Punjab to clinch Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2019-20


Bilal Asif bagged match-winning figures of 8-112 as Central Punjab (CP) beat Northern by an inning and 16 runs to win 63rd Quaid-e-Azam Trophy at National Stadium Karachi (NSK) on Monday.

Day 4 of the final contest saw Bilal spinning the ball all the way with helping CP bowl out Northern for 405 runs despite fighting knocks from Haider Ali, Ali Sarfraz, and Rohail Nazeer. The right-arm off-break bowler claimed his best First-Class bowling figures in an inning (8-112) and match (11-149) too.

Earlier, right-handed middle-order batsman Umar Akmal scored 218 runs off 265 balls, his second FC double hundred, to lay down a solid foundation for the champion side. The star-studded CP took a strong lead of 421 runs to put Northern under immense pressure.

In reply, Northern lost two early wickets in their second inning and closed Day 3 at 109-2. Zeeshan Malik (38) fell to Bilal after partnering well with his partner Haider Ali for 75 runs opening partnership. Umar Amin (17) couldn’t manage the pressure once again, caught behind the stumps with a diving catch by Kamran Akmal.

Young Haider was the top scorer for Northern with 134 runs off 204 balls laced with 22 boundaries and a six. He joined wicket-keeper batsman Rohail Nazir (70) to score 62 runs together to release a bit pressure from Northern.

Ali Sarfraz and Rohail, for the fifth wicket, added 95 runs to the team’s total. Sarfraz made 81 runs off 119 balls. Northern’s last three batters including skipper Nauman Ali went for naught.

Bilal took the last three wickets in a row to mark a victory for CP and shared the man-of-the-final award with Umar, unbeaten in the final with 218 runs.

Zafar Gohar, also from CP, bagged the man-of-the-tournament award for his all-round performance. The left-arm spinner bagged 38 wickets, third highest in the event, while scored 458 runs at an average of 32.71 including a century and three half-centuries.

Northern’s skipper Noman received the bowler-of-the-tournament award for his 54 wickets in the tournament. Kamran Akmal named the best wicket-keeper of the tournament with 41 dismissals.

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