Lively Islamabad down Karachi to get a shot at HBL PSL final

By ScoreLine Desk - March 14, 2019

Karachi: Islamabad United kept their hopes of defending the HBL PSL title alive with a hard fought four-wicket win over Karachi Kings in the Eliminator 1 at National Stadium, Karachi on Thursday.

Kings journey in the HBL PSL 2019 has ended with the side failing to get past the play-off stage for the fourth successive year.

Needing 18 off the last two overs and six in the last, Islamabad got four leg byes off Mohammad Amir to chase down a target of 162 in 19.3 overs before a full house at the National Stadium.

Karachi Kings spurned a brisk start of 61 runs in five overs as they lost eight wickets off 58 ball for 59 runs to derail from 102-1 to 161-9 in their 20 overs. Babar Azam (42), Colin Munro (32) and Liam Livingstone (30) were their main run getters.

The two times winners Islamabad (titles in 2016 and 2018) face Peshawar Zalmi in the Eliminator 2 on Friday. Quetta Gladiators have already qualified for the 17 March final.

Alex Hales (42-ball 41) had set the platform for a successful chase but Karachi Kings pulled that back to bring the target to 47 in the last four overs.

Asif Ali (10-ball 24 not out with two sixes and a four) benefited from a drop catch off the first ball of Amir Yamin’s penultimate over. Faheem Ashraf (eight-ball 17) helped Asif take 18 in the 18th over and 12 in the 19th to bring their team closer to the victory.

Yamin finished with 2-27.

Islamabad had lost Luke Ronchi early for just five before Cameroon Delport and Hales added 44 for the second-wicket. Delport wasted a good start as he lofted spinner Umer Khan straight into the hands of Babar Azam. He made 27-ball 38 with two sixes and four boundaries.

Umer, who finished with 2-16 in his four overs, further jolted Islamabad by dismissing Chadwick Walton for a second ball duck.

But Hussain hit a six off Umer’s last ball as he and Hales added 51 for the fourth-wicket but both fell in the same style, caught in the deep with 33 needed in the last three overs.

Hales, playing his first match this year after joining from England’s tour of the West Indies, was declared man-of-the-match.

“It was a tricky chase,” said Hales. “I thought that it was a belter of a wicket but it slowed down, Umer bowled very well. I knew that we have Hussain and Asif so they could take us to the win.”

Islamabad captain Mohammad Sami credited fight back in bowling.

“They were running away but our bowlers put them back and that became the turning point,” said Sami. “Chase is always difficult but all the players showed character and contributed.”

Karachi skipper Imad Wasim termed death bowling as the difference.

“We were 20-30 runs short and the difference was in both teams’ death bowling,” said Imad. “I think their bowlers bowled very well and pulled us back.”

It was a roller coaster innings for Karachi Kings who won the toss and opted to bat — only the second time in 32 matches in this HBL PSL that a team batted after winning the toss. It was also Karachi who batted against Multan Sultans in Dubai after winning the toss.

Colin Munro smashed three boundaries in Mohammad Sami’s first over as Karachi reached 50 in just 3.2 overs. Munro was finally caught behind off Mohammad Musa for 32 which came off just ten balls, spiced with six boundaries and a six.

Liam Livingstone (25-ball 30 with a six and three fours) and Babar took the total to 78 in the Power-Play, equaling the highest in all HBL PSL Power-Plays of Multan against Lahore Qalandars in Dubai this year.

Karachi reached 100 in 10 overs but then Shadab Khan pulled them back with 11 runs in the first two overs and then had Livingstone caught in the deep.

Babar fell in the 12th over as he edged Rumman Raees but it was only on Shadab’s insistence that skipper Sami took a review which proved Shadab was right in his judgment.

Colin Ingram threatened with his 15-ball 23 (two fours and a six) but the innings fell apart once he was caught off a miscued pull off Musa who finished with 3-42.

Islamabad United beat Karachi Kings by four wickets in HBL PSL Eliminator 1

Brief Scores:

Karachi Kings 161-9 in 20 overs (Babar Zaman 42, Colin Munro 32, Liam Livingstone 30; Mohammad Musa 3-42)

Islamabad United  164-6 in 19.3 overs (Alex Hales 41, Cameron Delport 38, Umer Khan 2-16)

By ScoreLine Desk

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