Babar scored an unbeaten 105, only for Haider’s 91 to help Northern ace the chase
Northern 201 for 4 (Haider 91*, Nawaz 41) beat Central Punjab 200 for 2 (Babar Azam 105*, Shehzad 37) by six wickets
Central Punjab won the toss and opted to bat, and their captain Babar assumed control right from the outset. His side got off to a flying start in the powerplay, with a 20-ball 37 from Ahmed Shehzad helping set the early tone. Once Shehzad fell to Mohammad Nawaz, Muhammad Akhlaq and Shoaib Malik lent support from the other end.
Really, though it was all about Babar. After mellowing through the middle overs, he came to life once more at the death as Central Punjab pushed towards 200, and brought up his 100 in 58 balls with three successive boundaries.
Chasing 201, Northern initially fell well behind the asking rate, with Ehsan Adil and Wahab Riaz accounting for the openers. It required Northern to throw caution to the wind, and in the out-of-form but very able Haider Ali, they had their answer. A blistering 84-run partnership at two runs a ball alongside Mohammad Nawaz dragged his side back into the game, and with Central Punjab’s bowlers wilting, he finished the job off alongside Asif Ali, putting Northern above Central Punjab on the table.