Islamabad beat Karachi by 4 wickets, qualify for PSL final
KARACHI (92 News) – Islamabad United beat Karachi Kings by four wickets and qualified for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final at the National Stadium Karachi on Thursday.
Power hitter Asif Ali cut the wings of Imad Waseem-led Karachi Kings in a last over 162 run-chase. Ali’s unbeaten 10-ball 24 played a pivotal role during the death overs while facing Muhammad Aamir, Usman Khan Shinwari and Aamir Yameen. Islamabad United won by four wickets with three balls remaining.
Despair in the Karachi dugout, but they lost the game in the second-half of their batting innings. Asif Ali, the big match player, stays not out on a 10-ball 24 to see his team home. Useful contributions from Talat, Delport and Hales too, but the joy of taking one’s team across the line belongs to Asif. Remember, he had a terrible start to the game, dropping a catch early in the first innings.
Spare a thought for Karachi’s Umer Khan, though, whose 2-16 goes in vain.
Karachi Kings set 162-run target for Islamabad United in a do-or-die clash with defending champions Islamabad United. Fast bowling sensation Muhammad Musa with his three-for-42 restricted the feared Karachi Kings batting attack to 161.
Kings started with a fiery start courtesy knocks by Babar Azam (42) and Colin Munro (32). But all it required was a breakthrough by Musa who took down Munro’s wicket to halt the building momentum. Livingstone and Ingram provided brief middle-order support but were soon taken down by Shadab Khan and Musa respectively.
The in-form batsman Ingram scored 23 off 16 before leaving the crease. Faheem Ashraf picked two wickets in the death overs to ensure no substantive resistance emerges from the lower-order. Rumman Raees and Shadab Khan picked one wicket each.
From 102 for 1, Karachi manage only 60 off the final ten. A remarkable comeback from the defending champions. We know which side will be happier at the break, but can Karachi come out of their collapso and defend this score? Runs on the board still count for something.
Karachi’s 78 for 0, in the first six overs was the PSL’s joint-highest Powerplay score, by the way. That seems such a long time back. Musa, Faheem, Shadab, Sami and Rumman were excellent. Be back in 10 minutes with the chase.
Earlier, Karachi Kings won the toss and elected to bat first against defending champions Islamabad United in the first eliminator.
Islamabad: Luke Ronchi, Alex Hales, Chadwick Walton, Cameron Delport, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Rumman Raees, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Musa
Karachi XI: Imad Wasim, Colin Ingram, Colin Munro, Babar Azam, Liam Livingstone, Ben Dunk, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Amir, Amir Yamin, Usman Shinwari, Umer Khan
There will be no second chances for the losing team: today’s winner will face Peshawar Zalmi in the second eliminator on Friday, and whoever wins tomorrow will be up against title favourites Quetta Gladiators in Sunday’s final.
Islamabad United hope a better record will help them thwart the challenge Karachi Kings pose on their home turf and before their supporters when the two teams meet in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2019 1st eliminator at the National Stadium on Thursday.
Thursday’s winner will meet the losing side from Wednesday’s match between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi in Eliminator 2 on Friday, with the winner qualifying for the sell-out 17 March final.
Islamabad, winners in 2016 and 2018, were equal on points with their rivals in the league phase with 10 in as many games, finished ahead of Karachi on better net run-rate.
They also have more balance in their batting and bowling, which earned them two wins against Karachi in this year’s event.
On their way to the title in the first edition, Islamabad beat Karachi in the Eliminator by a convincing nine-wicket margin when Brad Haddin (52 not out) and Luke Ronchi (50 not out) help them chase down a modest target of 111 runs.
But, Karachi reversed the result in 2017 when the two teams again met in the Eliminator, beating Islamabad by 44 runs at the back of some superb bowling by Mohammad Amir, Imad Wasim and Usama Mir – all taking three wickets.
Islamabad again had the better of Karachi in the third edition on their way to the title, winning by eight wickets. Ronchi once again was Karachi’s nemesis, by scoring a whirlwind 94.
In 2019, Islamabad proved a better batting and bowling unit as they beat Karachi by seven and five wickets, respectively in the two league matches, with Asif Ali benefiting from a dropped catch to plunder a match-winning 70 in Sharjah.
However, Islamabad captain Mohammad Sami feels it will be a new match on a new day.
“We have done well in the league phase, but there are no advantages because come Thursday it will be a new match for both the teams,” said Sami, who took a hat trick in the league phase.
Sami leads a strong pace attack, which also comprise Faheem Ashraf (19 wickets) and Rumman Raees (seven wickets), besides the youth exuberance of Musa Khan and Ammad Butt.
In Shadab Khan and Samit Patel, Islamabad have two good spinners who can check the flow of runs and also claim crucial wickets.
Ronchi with 297 runs at a strike rate of 158.82 is Islamabad’s leading run-scorer (behind Shane Watson’s 352 and Colin Ingram 321) and always comes good against Karachi. Asif also poses danger in the middle-order as he can be effective in the slog overs.
Karachi is also shaping up well with time and before home fans. They had the better of Quetta in the last-ball thriller by one-run before going down to Peshawar in the last league game to finish fourth.
Karachi skipper Imad Wasim hopes his team catches Islamabad napping.
“We are looking forward to play against Islamabad. We have had a lot of good battles against them and they have obviously won a lot of games against us.
“This time around, we think it’s our time and we are hopeful to win this match,” said Imad, who hopes fans come to support in big numbers.
“My message is to come and support us in the last two matches and we will not disappoint you,” said Imad.
Karachi will hope Colin Ingram, Babar Azam (293 runs in 10 matches) and Liam Livingstone (291 runs) lift them to a good total and hope their spin-cum attack stops Islamabad. Left-arm spinner Umar Khan has been a revelation for Karachi, having taken 13 wickets in the league phase.
The pace attack comprising of Mohammad Amir (12 wickets) and Usman Shinwari (12) is also getting better results with each match.
Sohail Khan bowled well in the win over Quetta but went wicket-less in the last four matches.
14 March –Eliminator 1 – Islamabad United v Karachi Kings; match starts 7pm; Michael Gough and Shozab Raza (on-field umpires), Rashid Riaz (third umpire), Asif Yaqoob (fourth umpire), Prof. Anees (match referee).