KARACHI: Central Punjab neared their first victory in the ongoing first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy as they were six wickets away from defeating Sindh when the third day of the sixth round fixture came to an end at the National Stadium on Friday. The title defenders, who are currently sitting at the bottom of the six-team points table, had set a daunting 432-run target for Sindh, who were 152 for four when stumps were drawn. As Sindh’s batsmen continued to struggle against Central Punjab bowlers after being bowled out for a paltry 92 in the first innings, it was Sharjeel Khan’s fighting 89 that held his side’s second innings together. Sindh require another 280 runs to win the match. On Saturday, Saad Ali, unbeaten on 24, and wicketkeeper-batsman Shehzar Mohammad, who is not out on 26, will resume the run chase. Earlier, a blistering 83 not out from only 60 balls by Ahmed Safi Abdullah helped Central Punjab post 247 all out in their second innings after resuming the day at 96 for five. At the UBL Sports Complex, a six wicket haul by Northern captain Nauman Ali ensured his team were set a 200-run target to leapfrog their opponents Southern Punjab, the table-toppers. The two sides are tied on points but Southern Punjab lead the points table because of a better net run-rate. Northern’s run chase will begin on the fourth and final morning of the match. Southern Punjab had begun the day at 19 for no loss. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were on way to what promises to be their third win of the season as their opponents Balochistan were tottering at 164 for six in their chase of a 400-run total at the State Bank Stadium. Ali Waqas and Awais Zia were the only notable run-getters in the run chase with the scores of 44 and 43, respectively, before they were removed by off-spinner Sajid Khan, who continues to enjoy an impressive run of form. Mohammad Wasim Jnr was the other bowler to pick two wickets, while his fellow pacers Sameen Gul and Irfanullah Shah took a wicket each. On the last day of the match, Ayaz Tasawar (17 not out) and Umaid Asif (eight not out) will resume the run-chase. Balochistan need 236 more to win. Scores in brief: 1: At National Stadium, Sindh elected to bowl (toss uncontested) Central Punjab 276 all out, 103.2 overs (Usman Salahuddin 80, Ali Zaryab 56, Saad Nasim 44, Mohammad Saad 41, Hasan Ali 26 not out; Tabish Khan 3-37, Mir Hamza 3-58) and 247 all out, 61 overs (Ahmed Safi Abdullah 83 not out, Mohammad Akhlaq 56, Waqas Maqsood 32, Saad Nasim 21; Abrar Ahmed 4-40, Shahnawaz Dhani 3-59, Mohammad Umar 2-56) VS Sindh 92 all out, 29.3 overs (Saad Ali 17; Waqas Maqsood 6-25, Bilawal Iqbal 2-17) and 152-4, 50.5 overs (Sharjeel Khan 89, Shehzar Mohammad 26 not out, Saad Ali 24 not out) 2: At UBL Sports Complex, Southern Punjab elected to bat Southern Punjab 285 all out, 86.3 overs (Umar Siddiq 89, Saif Badar 81, Salman Ali Agha 53, Aamer Yamin 26, Zeeshan Ashraf 25; Sadaf Hussain 3-45, Munir Riaz 2-39, Nauman Ali 2-51) and 295 all out, 93.2 overs (Salman Ali Agha 89, Imran Rafiq 61, Umar Siddiq 34, Aamer Yamin 25, Umar Khan 23, Zeeshan Ashraf 22; Nauman Ali 6-107) VS Northern 381 all out, 83 overs (Umar Amin 102, Hammad Azam 91, Mohammad Nawaz 43, Sarmad Bhatti 41, Nasir Nawaz 36, Munir Riaz 23 not out; Zahid Mehmood 4-120, Zia-ul-Haq 2-70) 3: At State Bank Stadium, Balochistan elected to bowl (toss uncontested) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 320 all out, 89.5 overs (Kamran Ghulam 153, Rehan Afridi 58, Khalid Usman 27; Khurram Shahzad 4-80, Umaid Asif 3-88, Taj Wali 2-77) and 199 all out (Israrullah 86, Adil Amin 32; Taj Wali 5-57, Jalat Khan 2-36, Khurram Shahzad 2-47) VS Balochistan 120 all out, 33 overs (Bismillah Khan 50 not out, Awais Zia 28; Irfanullah Shah 4-41, Mohammad Wasim Jr 3-24, Sameen Gul 3-54) and 164-6, 61 overs (Ali Waqas 44, Awais Zia 43; Sajid Khan 2-34, Mohammad Wasim Jr 2-48).