Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Win Their 2nd Domestic Trophy of 2021:
On December 25, the day-night final between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Northern began for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2021. KP batted first and had an outstanding performance, scoring 374 runs in the process. Iftikhar Ahmed hit a century on the first day of the crucial final and played a true captain’s innings. He was ably assisted by Kamran Ghulam, who made 72 runs, and Asif Afridi’s 68-run assault, which placed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in command. Northern’s Mubasir Khan took four wickets in the first innings, while Waqas Ahmed took three.
Northern got off to a great start in their first innings. All three of their top batsmen, Muhammad Huraira, Haider Ali, and Sarmad Bhatti, batted for half a century. However, none of them were able to convert it to centuries. Following the top three, the next eight batsmen largely disappointed, with three of them being out without scoring and only two reaching double figures. Northern was bundled for only 256. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa already had a 118-run lead. The third day of the final was rained out due to inclement weather.
Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa batted aggressively in their second innings, putting them in a commanding position once more. Fakhar Zaman smashed 50(53) to extend KP’s lead. Northern kept taking wickets at the right time to restrict Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to 69/4 in the second innings. When Iftikhar Ahmed came in to bat, he faced 116 balls and scored only 26 runs. Rehan Afridi, the wicket keeper batsman, kept the scoreboard ticking and scored 79 (110). Following the dismissal of Iftikhar Ahmed and Rehan, Sajid Khan played a lovely hand of 39(48) to further extend the lead, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were dismissed for 265 in their second innings, setting a target of 384 for Northern. Northern’s bowling attack was led by Mohammad Nawaz, who took four wickets, and Muhammad Musa, who took three.
Northern began aggressively on the final day, chasing 384. Iftikhar Ahmed took Muhammad Huraira’s wicket after he had scored 57(49). With this half-century, Muhammad Huraira became the highest run-scorer in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2021. Following that, Haider Ali, Umar Amin, and Mohammad Nawaz all got starts but were unable to stay at the crease for long. Northern simply kept losing wickets at regular intervals, thanks to some brilliant bowling by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Northern fell short of the crucial 170-run mark in the final. Sajid Khan took four wickets in the second innings and nine overall. This was Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s second domestic title; they previously won the National T20 Cup.
Player of the match: Iftikhar Ahmed
Best Wicketkeeper: Rohail Nazir
Best Batter: Mohammad Huraira
Player of the tournament: Mubasir Khan