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Northern – the champions of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 65th edition – outclassed Sindh in the final to hold the trophy along with PKR 10,000,000. Umar Amin-led Northern side achieved this feat at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday, the venue that was hosting the premier first-class tournament’s final after 2013-14 season Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final.
Northern have been the finalist twice since the revamp of the domestic system in 2019-20. They were lucky the third time after losing out on the title both in 2019-20 and 2021-22 seasons. Meanwhile, Sindh – who won their maiden National T20 title this year – made their first appearance in the final since the domestic structure revamp.
Dominant performance from Northern to clinch their maiden title
Northern were dominant throughout the tournament, having topped the six-team points table with 135 points ahead of the final. Over the course of the double round-robin stage, which started from 27 September, Northern won three matches, lost one and played six drawn games.
The charged-up Northern side demonstrated supremacy in all departments of the game in their successful campaign. In the batting charts, Mohammad Huraira topped the table with 1024 runs, while Umar Amin occupied fourth spot with 774 runs. In the bowling charts, Aamir Jamal and Mubasir Khan took 31 wickets apiece and grabbed second and third spots, respectively. In the fielding department, Northern’s Rohail Nazir bagged 43 dismissals behind the stumps and gained the top position.
The young-trio’s role in Northern’s win this season
Mohammad Huraira, Mubasir Khan and Rohail Nazir are aged 20, 21 and 21, respectively. The young trio’s outstanding performances led Northern to the title win this season. Mohammad Huraira’s 1024 runs from 11 matches included four centuries and two half-centuries. His highest score of 221 off 236 balls in the final against Sindh helped him earn player of the final award. He was also named best batter of the tournament, his second such award in as many seasons.
Mubasir Khan’s all-round performance (522 runs and 31 wickets) helped him take the player of the tournament award while Rohail Nazir’s 43 dismissals behind the stumps earned him best wicket-keeper of the tournament award.
Highest team total this season
Northern also posted the highest team total in this edition of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. Their 651 for nine in 197.1 overs came against Central Punjab at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad in the fourth round match played from 15 to 18 October. The match was played out a draw as 1,160 runs were scored in the match.
Top performers in the tournament
Three batters managed to score over 800 runs in the tournament which include two Test cricketers Abdullah Shafique and Usman Salahuddin. Huraira’s 1024 runs came at an average of 73.14 whereas right-handed batters Abdullah and Usman scored 867 and 862 runs, respectively. Abdullah’s 232 – also the highest individual score in the tournament – came against Sindh in the first round match at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi from 27 to 30 September.
In the bowling charts, Sindh’s mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed leads the table with 43 scalps from 12 innings, and as a result was adjudged best bowler of the tournament. Northern’s Aamir Jamal and Mubasir Khan hold the second and third spot with 31 wickets apiece. Aamir Jamal’s eight for 120 remained best bowling figures in an innings in this edition of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. He achieved the feat against Balochistan in the drawn seventh round match held at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium from 2 to 5 November.