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Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final – Bite-sized guide to the historic game

Recent Match Report - Khyber vs Central PNJB Final 2020

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For the first time ever the final of any domestic first-class tournament ended in a tie

The Quaid-e-Azam trophy final, between Central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, ended in a tie, not only for the first time ever in its 63-edition history but the first time ever in any domestic first-class tournament. Here’s a bite-sized guide to a madcap final.

A tie?
Yes.

You’re sure?
Yes. KPK’s 300 + 312 = CP’s 257 for 9 declared + 355.

Never happened before? Anywhere?
It would appear not.

Ok. But why did CP declare behind in the first innings?
Good captaincy from Hasan Ali (more on him shortly). After crossing 250, CP secured a vital batting point and putting them level on first-innings points with KPK. Hasan decided the lead was small enough for a push to be made for an outright win.

Pretty bold move…
He’s had that kind of season (getting there, getting there). At first, it didn’t look like it was going to pay off. On the back of Kamran Ghulam’s fifth hundred of the season…

That’s quite a few…
It is, to go with 76 in the first innings, and to cap off a record-breaking 1249-run season: in the process, he broke a 37-year-old record of most runs in a QeA season held by opener Saadat Ali, who had scored 1217 in the 1983-84 season. So that fifth hundred allowed KPK to set CP a target of 356, which no team had ever chased at the National Stadium in Karachi.

Guessing it turned out to be a pretty amazing chase.
It did. It began calmly – CP were 140 for 2 at the close of the fourth day. But they began the final day badly and within 20 overs were 179 for 5. That became 202 for 7 and then 249 for 8 and pretty much, game over.

I have a feeling this is where you tell me about Hasan Ali.
It is. He came in at 202 for 6 and would remain unbeaten on 106, off 61 balls, when poor old Waqas Maqsood (great season with the ball himself) hit Sajid Khan straight to Ghulam at mid-on with one needed to win. Maqsood had made just 4 in a 36-run partnership. Hasan actually had a great season with the bat – he’d hit two fifties before this innings and ended the season averaging a touch under 25.

A good season, I imagine.
A great season. He was Player of the Final, and Player of the Tournament, and deservedly so. When he took over the CP captaincy, they were languishing in the last place, having lost three and drawn two of their first five games. Azhar Ali had been captain but was then off for national duty. Hasan himself was coming off an injury lay-off, another injury to add to a back problem that had severely disrupted his last year or so and cost him a place in the national side. Questions had been asked of his fitness, of his form, of his future. But he turned the team around, leading them to four wins out of five and into the final.

And started bowling well again?
Beautifully. He ended the season with 43 wickets (five in the final, along with that hundred), the most by a fast bowler, and averaging just over 20. A handy time to do it as well, given Pakistan’s ongoing bowling performances in New Zealand.

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