Kings in semis after knocking Islamabad United out of PSL

By: Raheel Hanif      Published: 10:51 PM, 14 Mar, 2020
Kings in semis after knocking Islamabad United out of PSL

Karachi Kings Saturday reached the Pakistan Super League 2020 semi-finals after defeating Islamabad United by four wickets in a chase that was looked so easy in the start but went down to the wire in the end.

Chasing 137 to win, Kings were primed for victory when openers Babar Azam and Sharjeel Khan were on the crease but after their departure Karachi struggled to achieve the target but reached home at last.

Coached by Pakistan’s head coach Misbahul Haq, it is the first time that United have been knocked out from the event in group stage.

Sharjeel made 37 off 14 balls hitting four sixes and three fours and Babar score 19 off 20. Karachi were 60-2 in 5.4 overs but Islamabad United bowlers ably controlled the innings in the middle as batsmen got it tough to hit the runs freely. Shadab Khan was the most successful bowler taking two wickets for 28 runs.

Earlier, Karachi Kings bowlers put an emphatic display with the ball to keep Islamabad United to 136-6 in the key match of the Pakistan Super League Saturday at National Stadium, Karachi.

Karachi Kings captain Imad Wasim won the toss and invited the Shadab-Khan led United to bat first. It seems that with matches being played in front of empty stadium, the PCB and its curators have left the pitches on their own as the batsmen continued to struggle to time the ball and play their hits in the last leg of matches in Karachi.

The Islamabad United batsmen could hit only one six and 12 boundaries in their innings in a Twenty20 match that showed how difficult it was to play their shots and also how well Karachi bowlers bowled in the match.

Openers Rizwan Hussain and Phil Salt added 35 runs in 4.5 overs before Rizwan was caught behind by wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton when he tried to pull and Umaid Asif’s delivery that hit the bootoom edge of his bat and Walton took a beautiful catch while diving forward. He scored 17 runs off 14 deliveries and hit two boundaries.

United ended the power play at 47-1 and reached 50 runs in 6.4 overs. In very next over Slat was laos back to the pavilion when he used his feet and hit Imad very high over his head and Chris Jordan took a well-judged catch. Salt hit a six and three fours in his 19-ball 25. Captain Shadab, who has so far sown good form with the bat this season, could not play a big inngs for his team as Iftikhar Ahmad took his catch at mid-wicket when he hit Arshad Iqbal high in the air. Shadab scored 12 runs with the helf of one four on 14 balls.

Hussain Talat showen some resistance and added useful 37 runs off 30 balls hitting four boundaries when Iftikhar ended his innings. Hussain tried to hit Iftikhar out of the park but the ball went high and ended up in Cameron Delport’s hands at extra cover.

Asif Ali’s miserable season continued as he failed again with the bat when Usma Mir took his catch at midwicket off Chris Jordan’s bowling. He could score just 2 runs off 5 balls as Islamabad reached 100 runs mark in 14.4 overs.

Collin Ingram was run out when Faheem Ashraf send the ball to third man and came back for second. Keeper Walton collected the ball and threw it to Jordan at bowling end where he caught Ingram well short of crease. Ingram could score 14 off 15 balls hitting one four. Faheem remained unbeaten on 12 off 14 balls and Zafar Gohar on 13 off 10 balls.

Imad used seven bowlers to complete 20 overs with five taking one wicket each.