Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final ends in a tie as Central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa create history

It has become the first-ever final of a first-class tournament to end in a tie.

Quaid-e-Azam Final
Quaid-e-Azam Final. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sr. Staff Writer

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Pakistan’s premier first-class competition, the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy came to a grand conclusion on Tuesday as the final between Central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ended in a historic tie. Subsequently, both the teams shared the trophy after the game at the National Stadium in Karachi could not give a clear winner.

Defending champions Central Punjab started the day on 140 for 2, still needing another 216 runs with eight wickets in hand to defend their title. But their hopes went up in smoke in no time after they lost five wickets for just 62 runs to find themselves reeling at 202 for 7 after the lunch break. At that stage, it looked like the game was Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s to lose.

Well, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa did not lose the game but they could not win it either as Central Punjab made a sensational comeback thanks to a stunning century from Hasan Ali. The Pakistan pacer remained unbeaten on 106 and took his team to the brink of a famous win. His breathtaking knock came off just 61 balls and was studded with 10 fours and seven sixes.

He was well supported by Ahmed Safi Abdullah who scored 35 off just 23 balls with the help of five fours and a six. However, there was one last twist left in the game. With just one run needed, Waqas Maqsood lost his wicket and the match ended in a tie. For Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, off-spinner Sajid Khan was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up four wickets for 86 runs.

A historic tie

The tied game between Central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has created history. It has become the first-ever final of a first-class tournament to end in a tie. The closest occurrence of a knockout game in the first-class competition took place way back in 1945/46 season when the Ranji Trophy semifinal between Southern Punjab and Baroda had ended in a tied too. Baroda then went to the final after winning the toss.

A tied result in the red-ball format is a rarity. Even in Test cricket, only two ties have occurred in the format which is being played since 1877. The first was in 1960 (between Australia and West Indies) and the second in 1986 (India and Australia).