PSL 2019: Karachi Kings Qualify For Play-Offs Despite Shehzad’s 99

It was a thrilling T20 encounter between Karachi Kings and Quetta Gladiators in the second match of the Pakistan leg of the fourth season at the National Stadium Karachi. In front of a packed house, Imad Wasim’s side won their first ever match in front of the home crowd by one run, as table toppers Quetta got a jolt just before the final round.

It was because of its bowlers namely left-arm fast bowler Usman Shinwari that Karachi Kings won the match. At one time, when Ahmed Shehzad was hitting sixes at will, it seemed that Quetta would emerge as the winner but Shinwari took as many as three wickets in his final over – including Ahmed Shehzad and Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed – to clinch a one-run victory for the hosts.

After electing to field, Quetta Gladiators reduced Karachi Kings to 190 runs for the loss of 5 wickets. Thanks to Babar Azam’s 56 and Iftikhar Ahmed’s unbeaten 44, the home team was able to post a decent score with only Mohammad Hussain managing 2 wickets in the innings.

In reply, Ahmed Shehzad was on fire from the first over and steered the side close to the total, but faltered in the final over one short of what would have been his fifth century in T2o circuit. Only Umar Akmal (27) and Shane Watson (20) lent him some support as the rest of the batsmen were unable to score off Usman Shinwari.

Although the left-armer went for 43 runs off his 4 overs, his final six balls sealed the fate of Lahore Qalandars who were kicked out of the tournament.

The battle at the points table is now open as Quetta Gladiators aren’t sure of the top position; if Peshawar Zalmi beats Karachi Kings convincingly in the last match of the event on Monday, they might snatch the first position from them. In case of a Karachi Kings win, they might end up at number 2 position with 12 points and it will go down to the net run rate to decide who ends up at number 2 and who has to move down to number 3.

The first match on Monday will be played between Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars and both the sides will have to play for their pride as they have been ousted from the tournament after repeated poor performances.

Omair Alavi

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