PSL 9: Karachi Kings beat Lahore Qalandars by three wickets

PSL 9: Karachi Kings beat Lahore Qalandars by three wickets

Shoaib Malik and Muhammad Irfan Khan displayed nerves of steel and guided Karachi Kings to a thrilling three-wicket victory over Lahore Qalandars in the 26th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 here on Saturday.

The enthralling victory kept Karachi Kings in contention to make it to the playoffs as they moved just one point shy of Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United, sitting fourth and third place respectively.

Chasing 178 on a tricky National Bank Stadium surface, the home side knocked the winning runs when Shoaib Malik slashed Zaman Khan for a boundary on the final delivery.

The home side got off to a flying start to the pursuit, courtesy of a quickfire opening stand between James Vince and Tim Seifert, which yielded 59 runs.

The sensational stand lasted in the seventh over when Tayyab Abbas got Vince caught behind on 42. His 27-ball knock featured six boundaries and a six.

Karachi Kings’ skipper Shan Masood then joined Seifert and knitted an anchoring 40-run partnership before walking back in the 12th over.

Masood scored a 16-ball 24 with the help of three boundaries.

The Kings then lost two more wickets — Kieron Pollard (3) and Seifert (33) — in quick succession and consequently slipped to 113/4 in 14.2 overs.

But Irfan and Malik kept the hosts in the hunt with a sensible partnership which saw them adding 52 runs for the fifth wicket off just 25 deliveries until the former departed in the penultimate over after a match-defining knock.

Irfan scored a quickfire 35 off 16 deliveries, peppered with six boundaries.

But Malik hung on and brought his vast experience into play to guide Karachi Kings to a nerve-testing victory.

He scored an unbeaten 27 off 17 deliveries, hitting four boundaries.

Tayyab Abbas led the bowling charge for the Qalandars with 2/23 while Sikandar Raza, Zaman and Shaheen Shah Afridi struck out a batter each.

Put into bat first, the Qalandars, who are already out of the playoffs race, notched up a decent total on the board, courtesy of an anchoring second-wicket partnership.

The visitors, however, had a contrasting start to their innings as they lost their opener Tahir Baig in the third over with just 16 runs on the board.

Following the early stutter, Fakhar joined Abdullah in the middle and they combined to launch an astounding recovery for the Qalandars.

The pair added 70 runs for the second wicket at a brisk rate.

Fakhar Zaman was the core aggressor of the stand and brought up his half-century in the process off just 32 deliveries.

The left-handed batter had an agonizing end to his brave knock as a direct hit from Muhammad Irfan Khan sent him packing in the 11th over.

He scored 54 off 35 deliveries with the help of five boundaries and two sixes.

Following Fakhar’s dismissal, Abdullah took charge of the Qalandars’ batting expedition and changed gears to bring up his half-century in 36 deliveries.

He put together a brief partnership with Shai Hope (9) before finally perishing in the 17th over.

Abdullah Shafique remained the top-scorer for the Qalandars with a 39-ball 55 which featured five boundaries and a six.

Later, Sikandar Raza and David Wiese bolstered Lahore Qalandars to a formidable total with a quickfire 46-run stand.

Raza scored 22 off 16 deliveries while Wiese smashed three sixes on his way to a nine-ball 24.

Zahid Mahmood led the bowling attack for Karachi Kings with two wickets while Blessing Muzarabani and Anwar Ali made one scalp each.

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