Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) efforts to revive the domestic structure of Pakistan are proving to be fruitful as the latest edition of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy brought forward some exciting cricket over the past couple of months.
The action came to a close yesterday with a dramatic final between Central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Despite heroic innings from captain Hasan Ali, Central Punjab was unable to defeat KP as the match ended in a tie when Waqas Maqsood got out with just one run remaining.
From Kamran Ghulam’s record-breaking season to Hasan Ali’s heroics throughout the tournament, Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2020/2021 proved to be a huge success. A number of records were broken as players played 31 exhilarating matches.
Let’s have a look at highlights of the record-breaking season:
Tied First-Class Matches
In the 248 years of First-Class cricket, just 67 out of 60,296 matches have ended in a tie, which gives the result a probability of a mere 0.11 percent.
On 5 January, that minute probability kicked in at the National Stadium Karachi where Central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were declared joint-winners of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2020-21 after the final between them ended with scores and first-innings points leveled.
It was the first time anywhere in the world that the final of a First-Class competition ended in a tie whereas on Pakistan soil it was only the fifth tied match after Lahore Blues v Bahawalpur in 1961, MCB v Pakistan Railways in 1983, Peshawar v Bahawalpur in 1988 and HBL v WAPDA in 2011.
Tied First-Class Matches in Pakistan
Lahore Blues v Bahawalpur
MCB v Pakistan Railways
Peshawar v Bahawalpur
HBL v WAPDA
Central Punjab v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Central Punjab was chasing 356, a target no team has achieved in 66 years of First-Class cricket at the National Stadium. They lost their last wicket on 355 making it the fourth-highest total in a tied chase surpassing India’s 347 in the historic Test with Australia in Chennai in 1986.
Highest 4th innings totals in tied first-class matches
Somerset v West Indies A
Sussex v Kent
Essex v Warwickshire
Central Punjab v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
India vs Australia
37-Year-Old Record Broken
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa batsman, Kamran Ghulam, created a record for most runs in a single edition of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy by scoring 1,249 runs in the tournament. He did it at an average of 62.45 with five centuries, including one in the final.
Saadat Ali, who scored 1,217 runs for HBFC in the 1983-84 season, held the previous record for most runs. Kamran was also the first batsman with 1,100+ runs since Asad Shafiq amassed 1,104 runs in the 2009-10 season.
Most runs in one edition of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy
Off-Spinners on the Top
With 67 wickets at an average of 25.08, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Sajid Khan finished the tournament as the highest wicket-taker. Fittingly, he also took the last wicket of the season that tied the final. It is the first time in eight seasons that an off-spinner is the highest wicket-taker of the tournament (the last being Atif Maqbool with 55 wickets in the 2012-13 season).
Sajid’s tally of 67 wickets is also the highest for an off-spinner in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy since 1995-96 when Bahawalpur’s Murtaza Hussain took 72 wickets at 15.08.
Fast Bowlers Back in Action
Five fast bowlers took more than 25 wickets, which is a big change from the previous season when not a single pacer crossed the 25-wicket mark.
Central Punjab’s captain Hasan Ali, who won the Player of the Tournament and Player of the Final awards, led the chart with 43 wickets at 20.06 followed by his teammate, Waqas Maqsood with 41 wickets.
Three other pacers with 25+ wickets in the 2020-21 season were Tabish Khan (30 wickets for Sindh), Taj Wali (27 wickets for Balochistan), and Shahnawaz Dhani (26 wickets for Sindh).
Runs Per Wicket
Average runs per wicket across the last two editions of the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy is 35.04, a figure that underlines a vast improvement in the quality of pitches and balls in Pakistan’s domestic cricket.
In 62 matches in the two seasons, 62,512 runs have been scored for 1,784 wickets. Since 2019, no First-Class competition in the world has registered better runs per wicket.
For context, runs per wicket in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons was only 23.96.
Highest runs per wicket in first-class tournaments since 2019 (Min: 40 matches)
Four Day Franchise
Premier League Tournament
CSA Three-day Provincial Cup
Bob Willis Trophy
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