Northern end league stage with defeat, face Sindh in final.

KARACHI -- The 10-round league stage of the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy ended on Wednesday with Northern tasting their first defeat of the season at the hands of defending champions Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The loss, however, wasn't enough to affect Northern's position at the top of the Trophy standings - with 135 points - and a place in the final against Sindh, who were dominant in their draw with Balochistan.

Sindh, who accumulated 128 points, could have missed out on their maiden appearance in the finale had it not been for Central Punjab's stalemate with Southern Punjab, which saw the former champions end their campaign with 124 points.

The Quaid Trophy final starts Saturday at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore and will be a five-day affair.

At the Shoaib Akhtar Stadium in Rawalpindi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa won by 50 runs - their first win this season - after bundling Northern out for 171 with the latter starting the fixture's fourth day with a 175-run deficit and six wickets in hand.

Off-spinner Sajid Khan hurt Northern the most, bagging five wickets at the expense of just 50 runs while Mohammad Imran claimed three victims.

Northern wicket-keeper/batter Rohail Nazir's 62-run knock was not enough to rescue the side from an unbeaten record this season.

At the Gaddafi Stadium, the match between Central Punjab and Southern Punjab was declared with the latter at a 216-2 in their second innings.

The lion's share of the total belonged to Usman Salahuddin, who smashed an unbeaten 100 off 134 balls. Sharoon Siraj hit 74.

Earlier, Central Punjab were bowled out for 490 in their first innings, giving Southern Punjab a 60-run lead. Captain Mohammad Saad scored 182 while all-rounder Aamer Yamin recorded a half-century.

Skipper Hasan Ali and Hassan Khan took three wickets apiece for Southern Punjab.

At the Lahore's LCCA Ground, Sindh enforced a follow-on on Balochistan, who could manage 485 in response to the former's mammoth first-innings total of 644-6.

Balochistan opener Imran Butt, who reached his hundred...

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