By a Special Correspondent
Luke Ronchi hit an aggressive half-century while Pakistan’s international Faheem Ashraf took three wickets as Islamabad United beat Karachi Kings by eight wickets at Sharjah on Sunday.
Ronchi’s 37-ball 71 had ten boundaries and three towering sixes anchored Islamabad’s successful target chase of 154 in 17.2 overs. Babar Azam had hit 53-ball 55 while Khurram Manzoor fired 41-ball 51 to anchor Karachi Kings’ 153-6 in 20 overs after they were put into bat on a flat shinning Sharjah stadium pitch.
Islamabad had a confident start of 104 as Ronchi and Jean-Paul Duminy ( 43) took the total to 100 in 10.5 overs and almost succumbed Karachi Kings to submission.
After today’s game all six teams have completed five matches, with Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans seven points, Islamabad and Peshawar Zalmi on six each. Quetta have four points while Lahore Qalandars have yet to get a point in five matches.
Karachi Kings were helped to the highest total in Sharjah this year with Babar Azam scoring a 53-ball 55 while Khurram Manzoor fired 41-ball 51 after they were put into bat on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.
Ronchi punished Mohammad Amir for a boundary and a six and then flicked Shinwari for two sixes as fifty was reached in the sixth over. He then thrashed three boundaries off Tymal Mills’s first over.
Ronchi was finally dismissed by Irfan Junior but by that time Islamabad was on a stroing footing for victory.
Karachi Kings recovered through Babar and Manzoor who notched half centuries. Once Joe Denly was gone, bowled by Mohammad Sami for four, Babar and Manzoor lifted the total with steady batting, hitting boundaraies off loose deliveries.
Manzoor hit six boundaries and a six while Babar’s knock had two sixes and three boundaries. Both batted with confidence and even after their departure karachi Kings managed 47 in the last five overs with Mohammad Rizwan scoring nine-ball 21 not out and Imad Wasim making 10.
Faheem Ashraf was the pick of the bowlers with 3-23 while Sami and Hussain Talat took one wicket apiece.
There will be no match on Tuesday as PSL shifts again to Dubai, with Multan Sultans taking on Quetta Gladiators on Wednesday.