Islamabad United dim Karachi Kings’ hopes for PSL 9 playoffs

Islamabad United dim Karachi Kings’ hopes for PSL 9 playoffs

Islamabad United skipper Shadab Khan celebrates wicket during the match against Karachi Kings on March 7, 2024. — PCB

Islamabad United grabbed a victory over Karachi Kings by five wickets, dimming hopes of the latter to enter the playoffs phase of the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) ninth edition.

United chased down the target in the 19th over after restricting Kings to 150/7. This is United’s eighth consecutive victory over the Kings in the tournament.

The chase started with Colin Munro (9) and Alex Hales (18) providing a decent start but Mir Hamza had his tail up with channel bowling, removing both of them.

Skipper Shadab Khan and Salman Ali Agha formed a crucial third-wicket stand to give stability to the chase. Salman made 33 before falling to Blessing Muzarabani while Shadab (34) was undone by Hamza again.

Islamabad United dim Karachi Kings hopes for PSL 9 playoffs

Kings tried to push for a comeback with Zahid Mahmood dismissing Azam Khan but Faheem Ashraf (12*) and Haider Ali (26*) remained firm in finishing the chase.

For Kings, Hamza was the pick of the bowlers with 3/41.

Being put into bat first, Karachi Kings posted a total of 150/7 in the allocated 20 overs, propelled by a judicious innings from Pollard.

The visiting team encountered a shaky start to their innings when Faheem Ashraf dismissed their captain, Shan Masood, in the fifth over with 34 runs on the scoreboard. Masood could only manage 10 off 12 deliveries, striking one boundary.

Faheem struck again in the subsequent over, compounding Karachi Kings’ challenges as they stumbled to 43/2 in 6.4 overs.

Subsequently, Karachi Kings suffered two more setbacks as they lost the experienced Shoaib Malik (1) and Mohammad Nawaz (5) within nine overs, leaving them with just 49 runs on the board.

After the setback, Pollard partnered with James Vince, orchestrating an impressive recovery.

The pair batted astutely, contributing 58 runs at a brisk pace during their fifth-wicket partnership, which concluded with Vince’s dismissal in the 14th over.

Vince played a stabilising innings, scoring 29 off 27 deliveries with the aid of five boundaries.

Pollard then briefly collaborated with Muhammad Irfan Khan before succumbing in the 18th over.

He emerged as the leading run-scorer for Karachi Kings, amassing a remarkable 39 off 28 deliveries, including three boundaries and an equal number of sixes.

Irfan followed suit in the subsequent over after a cautious 16, featuring one boundary and a six in his 13-ball innings.

Left-arm pacer Tymal Mills spearheaded the bowling attack for Islamabad United, claiming 3/34, with Faheem Ashraf notching up two wickets for 16 in his four overs.

Imad Wasim and Hunain Shah collectively secured two wickets for the team.

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