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Central Punjab settle with draw to book spot in final

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Karachi, 5 December 2019: With 120 points in the bag before the tenth round of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy, Central Punjab followed a perfect script to settle for a draw in their last round fixture, of the premier four-day first class tournament, against Southern Punjab.

On the fourth and final day at the State Bank Stadium on Thursday, Central Punjab's openers Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal topped up the overnight one-run lead with a 124-run stand. Kamran Akmal perished on a 72-ball 47 while Salman Butt marched on to his 25th first-class ton.

Captain Ahmed Shehzad, too, crafted a hundred to achieve a remarkable feat of two centuries in the match.

At the close of play, Central Punjab were 309 for one after 81 overs with Salman Butt (158) and Ahmed Shehzad (100) at the crease. Butt and Shehzad piled up 185 runs together to ensure the desired result.

With the draw, Central Punjab accumulated enough points to qualify for the final of Quaid-e-Azam trophy to face the other finalist, Northern which overpowered Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in a thrilling encounter at the UBL stadium.

Meanwhile, Central Punjab collected 13 points (five batting, three bowling points and five points for a draw) from the match and topped the six-teams table with 133 points.

Central Punjab and Northern will play the final at the National Stadium from 27 to 31 December 2019.

Scores in brief:

Central Punjab 597-9 declared, 170 overs (Abdullah Shafiq 133, Usman Salahuddin 114, Mohammad Saad 105 not out, Ahmed Shehzad 100; Salman Ali Agha 3-85, Rahat Ali 2-104, Zia-ul-Haq 2-135, Zulfiqar Babar 2-151) and 309-1, 81 overs (Salman Butt 158 not out, Ahmed Shehzad 100 not out, Kamran Akmal 47)

Southern Punjab 392 all out, 95.1 overs ( Zeeshan Ashraf 141, Agha Salman 140; Bilal Asif 5-130, Ehsan Adil 3-75, Zafar Gohar 2-110)

Result: Match drawn