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Back-to-back wins give Southern Punjab big lead at the top

Northern beat Central Punjab, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa escape with a draw against Sindh

Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq
Sarfaraz Ahmed struck a century  •  PCB

Sarfaraz Ahmed struck a century  •  PCB

Here's a look at how the three games in the latest round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy panned out…
Southern Punjab scripted a superb comeback after falling 41 runs behind in the first innings, bowling Balochistan out for 112 in the second dig to set up a moderate 154-run chase. Lespinner Zahid Mahmood played a big role in that, picking up 4 for 20 to follow up his 3 for 101.
It did get tricky for them at 123 for 6, but Saif Badar (37) and Agha Salman (42*) held their nerves to get home.
Bilawal Bhatti hospitalised after injury
Bilawal Bhatti, who last played for Pakistan in a T20I in May 2015, was hit in his head off a short-pitch delivery in Southern Punjab's first innings. He was taken to hospital but cleared of concussion, but was kept off the field in the second-innings exchanges.
Nauman Ali's 11 wickets helped Northern trounce Central Punjab by nine wickets, giving them their first win of the season and keeping their opponents winless. The victory, earned in just over two days, earned Northern 26 points - they scored 350 inside 100 overs in the first innings and picked up eight wickets (at least) within 100 overs twice.
After bowling Central out for 159 in the first innings despite Ali Zaryab Asif's 78, Northern took a 195-run lead with Umar Amin hitting 94, Asif Ali 65, and Hammad Azam 56.
Nauman, the left-arm spinner who was the leading wicket-taker last season, returned 4 for 55 and 7 for 53 to run through the opposition, and that set up a 33-run target for Northern, which was sorted easily, for the loss of one wicket.
Offspinner Ashiq Ali returned 11 for 127, and there were chart-topping batting performances from Sarfaraz Ahmed and Asad Shafiq, but Khyber Pakhtunkhwa managed to hold Sindh off for a draw on an exciting final day. Sarfaraz's 131 not out and Fawad Alam's 91 helped Sindh put up 361, and they took a 54-run lead after Ashiq's 5 for 94.
Sindh declared their second innings on 234 for 7 after Shafiq's 72 not out, and Ashiq then returned 6 for 33 to almost give Sindh a win, but they ran out of time.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent