Central Punjab and Northern face-off in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final tomorrow.


KARACHI -- Fresh after their historic Test series win against Sri Lanka in Karachi, Pakistan cricket stars will be in action in the final of the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy tournament between Central Punjab and Northern which commences from Friday, 27 December, at the National Stadium, Karachi. The return of Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali and premier middle-order batsman and Central Punjab's captain Babar Azam bolster Central Punjab, while the comeback of Pakistan U19 captain Rohail Nazir and top-order batsman Haider Ali strengthen the Northern side. The final of Pakistan's premier domestic competition, will be a five-day affair.

The contest not only provides an opportunity to both sides to get hold of the prestigious silverware but will also help them make history by being the first winners of the revamped tournament. The winner will also pocket a hefty PKR10m prize money. The runners-up will bag PKR5m. The two sides have had an intriguing journey this season and were separated by three points on the table. Central Punjab finished on top with 133 points, while Northern, with 130 points, ended the group-stage at number two. When the two teams meet on Friday, Northern will be eyeing revenge as two out of Central Punjab's three wins thistournament came against them. What will add spice to this most-anticipated battle is that the contest will be telecasted live on Ten Sports and PTV Sports. Road to the final: Central Punjab - 3 wins, 1 loss, 6 draws,

133 points From the onset of the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Central Punjab established themselves as strong contenders to secure a berth in the final. Though their journey started off with a draw in a Punjab Derby at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, their points tally got a massive boost in the next two rounds on the back of comprehensive wins. They rolled over Northern by an innings and 100 runs at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad in the second round and outplayed Balochistan, at their home, in the third round to record a victory with a margin of an innings and 12 runs. In their third win of the season, they beat Northern, this time by a margin of 205 runs, in Faisalabad in the seventh round. Central Punjab have lost only one match this tournament, against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by 211 runs at NBP Sports Complex, Karachi, in the ninth-round. Kamran Akmal and...

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