Karachi: Defending champions Central Punjab will play Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2020-21 after thrashing Southern Punjab in the 10th Round’s fixture.
CP staged an astonishing comeback as they were probably out of contention to play the final in the first half of the double-league group stage of the tournament.
They were at the bottom of the table with just 30 points – coming from three defeats and two draws but the appointment of pacer Hasan Ali in the fifth round as their captain completely turned the tables. They recorded four wins in the last five games and finished second with 137 points.
The 26-year-old Hasan filled a whole different vibe after he gained his form back in the sixth round of the tournament.
CP won their first match against Sindh at National Stadium, Karachi which saw Hasan taking four crucial wickets in the second innings.
In the seventh-round clash against in-form Northern, CP was out of the game in the first innings due to Nauman Ali’s heroics. Nauman claimed seven scalps to complete his half-century of wickets in the tournament.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) December 29, 2020
Hasan coming with a four-wicket haul in the first inning, took three important scalps to bundled out Northern for 156. CP chased down the target of 166 by losing only four wickets.
CP’s eighth-round fixture against Balochistan saw Hasan’s dominance in all departments of the game. He provided a boost with his bat by smashing a 33-ball half-century and later claimed a fifer to enforce the follow-on by bowling Balochistan out for 130.
In the second inning, Hasan returned with yet another fifer and claimed a third-wicket haul in his first-class career.
CP’s ninth-round fixture ended in a draw against KPK but the side gained valuable 9 points. Today, after a win against SP and securing 26 points, they attained the second spot in the points table.
The final will a five-day affair at the iconic National Stadium from 1-5 January.