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PSL 2017, 2nd Qualifying Final, Review: Karachi Kings knock out defending champions to set eliminator date with Zalmi

Imad Wasim
Imad Wasim was awarded the man of the match for his brilliant spell. (Photo Source: PSL)

After a thrilling nail-biting finish in the first playoff game of the PSL 2017 season, the action shifted to the 2nd Qualifying Final. Defending champions Islamabad United were up against the spirited Karachi Kings. The 1st Qualifying Final saw a run fest on the cards for the audience. The second one though, turned out to be a low scoring affair. The track looked the same at the start of the game but behaved mysteriously contradictory in the match that fared up. Coming into the match, Islamabad United looked as a settled unit, having been consistent throughout the tournament.

Karachi, on the other side, had picked pace towards the late matches in the league stages. On the day, it was Islamabad United who won the toss and had no hesitation in opting to bowl first. They went in with a two Caribbean and two Australian combo for the match as their overseas quota. Brad Haddin, Shane Watson, Dwayne Smith and Nicholas Pooran made up the numbers for them on the day. Karachi Kings drafted their regular tested overseas strength of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Ravi Bopara and skipper Kumar Sangakkara himself. In walked Babar Azam and Chris Gayle to start the proceedings for the Kings with the bat.

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Both batsmen got off to a decent start and added 42 runs for the opening wicket before Gayle was cleaned up by Rumman Raees on 17 (15) on the penultimate ball of the powerplay. Skipper Kumar Sangakkara came in at number three to join Azam at the crease. However, just a couple of deliveries later, Azam was caught lbw by Shadab Khan on 25 (21). Shoaib Malik was the new man in as both openers had headed back to the dugout.

Malik and Sangakkara tried to resurrect the innings but never looked dominating at the crease. Sangakkara’s stiff resistance of 19-ball 17 ended with Shane Watson getting him out in the 12th over. Ravi Bopara failed to impress yet again and had only 15 to his name before becoming Watson’s second wicket of the match. Meanwhile, Malik had reached in the twenties. He was dismissed as a result of an unfortunate run out on 25 (23).

Kieron Pollard and Imad Wasim, the two star finishers of the side, had the daunting task of giving the Karachi Kings a late impetus. Both failed largely and the wickets rolled down in clusters with Raees being the major beneficiary. He finished as the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4/25 in his quota of 4 overs as Karachi were bowled out for a mere 126 in 19.4 overs. The total, by no means, looked like a winning total. However, knowing the nature of games in PSL this season, the Kings could not be ruled out.

Also read – Vijay Hazare Trophy 2017: Jharkhand skipper MS Dhoni left fuming over wicket

The run chase for Islamabad United began with Dwayne Smith and Asif Ali opening the innings. Smith was sent back early on 8 by Mohammad Amir as he edged one straight in the hands of Kumar Sangakkara in the third over. Brad Haddin’s poor run this season continued as he was sent back on a duck a couple of deliveries later by Amir who shattered the woodwork. Skipper Misbah Ul Haq was the new man in with defending champions struggling at 12/2.

Misbah and Asif Ali added 35 runs for the third wicket before Imad Wasim sent Misbah back to pavilion after a run-a-ball 13. Shane Watson came in at number 5. At the half way stage, the Islamabad United were placed at 56/3, needing 71 off the last 10 overs. On the day, even the experience of Shane Watson could not help his side. Imad Wasim got through his defence and the Aussie had to walk back with one run to his name.

Shadab Khan and Nicholas Pooran fell in quick succession thereafter on 1 each to see the middle order crash like ten pins. Asif Ali, the only batsman from the Islamabad side to have shown some resistance, was the next to go. It was Usama Mir who got his wicket. Ali batted well for his patient fighting 36-ball 39 with 3 fours and a six.

Wickets kept tumbling and it was only a matter of time that the Islamabad United were bowled out for 82 in 15.2 overs. Karachi Kings won the match by 44 runs and now they have set up their virtual semi-final date with Peshawar Zalmi.

Watch: 39-year-old Kumar Sangakkara dives to take a stunner

Brief Scores:

Karachi Kings 126/10 in 19.4 overs (Azam 25, Malik 25, Raees 4/25, Sami 2/19)

Islamabad United 82/10 in 15.2 overs (Asif Ali 39, Misbah 13, Imad 3/18, Usama 3/24)

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