KARACHI: With a brilliant 131 off 108, young all-rounder Qasim Akram starred in Central Punjab's 17-run win over Balochistan at the State Bank Stadium.
The right-hander smashed 12 fours and five sixes and stitched a crucial 104-run partnership with opener Mohammad Faizan, who made 51 off 53, after Central Punjab lost first two wickets for no score.
Central Punjab were eventually bowled out for 240 in 43 overs as the next best score after Faizan's 51 was 13 from Irfan Khan and Usama Mir. Balochistan could muster 223 for nine in reply despite the scores of 51 from Haseebullah, 49 from Bismillah Khan, 45 from Asad Shafiq and 40 from Amad Butt. Aamer Yamin took three wickets for 39 and Usama accounted for two batters.
At the UBL Sports Complex, a breezy 99 not out off 129 by Omair Bin Yousuf (eight fours) helped Sindh check off 273 runs against Northern. With the scores of 69 and 50, Sharjeel Khan and Danish Aziz were other notable run getters as Sindh chased down the target in 48 overs with five wickets spare.
Earlier, Anwar Ali took three wickets, while Mohammad Hasnain and Asif Mehmood equally shared four wickets between them as Northern managed 272 for eight. Umair Masood and Umar Akmal, batting at seven and six, respectively, played crucial knocks of run-a-ball 68 and 65-ball 53 after the top order failed to put impressive performances.
Sahibzada Farhan's century and Arshad Iqbal's four wickets scripted a 36-run win for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over Southern Punjab at the NBP Sports Complex. Sahibzada made 107 off 117 (five fours and three sixes) to lift Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to 265 for nine. Mohammad Haris was the next best batter with 38, while Waqar Ahmed and Adil Amin made 30 each.
Southern Punjab's Mohammad Ismail took three wickets for 58 and Faisal Akram took two wickets for 65. Southern Punjab were bowled out for 229 in 45 overs as Arshad Iqbal dismissed Sharoon Siraj (30), Arafat Minhas (34), Sameen Gul (one) and Mohammad Ismail (three).
Mohammad Amir Khan took three wickets for 32, while Ihsanullah sent two batters back. Zain Abbas, with 86 off 105, provided a solid start, adding 66 for the first wicket with Mohammad Shehzad (40 off 42), but after Sharoon and Arafat, the next batters couldn't make the most of it.