PSL 4: Defending Champs Islamabad United eliminate Sloppy Karachi Kings

Karachi Kings were eliminated from the Pakistan Super League’s fourth edition as defending Champions Islamabad United took their unpredictable bowling attack to the cleaners. Although no one managed to score 50 from either side, it was a match that was dominated by batsmen especially from the Capital City as they made most of the dropped catches, illogical captaincy and Usman Shinwari who has been mediocre the whole tournament, except for a few overs.

In front of a full-house, Karachi elected to bat first and posted 161 runs for the loss of 9 wickets, despite being 100 for 1 in 10 overs. It was due to Babar Azam’s 42, Colin Munro’s 32 and Liam Livingstone’s 30 that the hosts managed to post a defendable score on board. Muhammad Musa was the pick of the bowlers as he ended with 3 wickets for 42 runs while Faheem Ashraf added 2 more wickets to become the top wicket-taker of the season.

Chasing 162 to win, Islamabad started slow and by the 17th over scored 114 mainly due to Alex Hales’ 41, Cameron Delport’s 38 and Hussain Talat’s 19-ball 32. Needing 33 runs in the last three overs, it seemed that Islamabad might lose but Asif Ali and Faheem Ashraf had other ideas. Asif Ali blasted just 24 runs off 10 balls while Faheem Ashraf took 8 balls to score 17 runs only to be dismissed in the last over.

The Defending champions benefitted from Babar Azam’s sloppy fielding as he dropped two crucial catches in the field otherwise they might not have won by 4 wickets. Equally responsible for the elimination were Usman Shinwari and Co. as he went for 42 runs in 3 overs, while Mohammad Amir was dispatched for 35 in his 3.3 overs.

Alex Hales was declared Man of The Match for his match-winning knock and the Islamabad side must be content with his arrival. Former champions Peshawar Zalmi will face Islamabad United today in the last Qualifier of the season to decide which team goes through to face Quetta Gladiators in the grand finale on 17th March.

 

 

Omair Alavi

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