SHARJAH: Karachi Kings just couldn’t find ways and means to chalk up their first win in the 2017 HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) as their old foes Lahore Qalandars coasted home by seven runs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday night.
Lahore’s second success in four matches also made amends for their two defeats in last year’s first edition to Karachi, who are now firmly rooted at the bottom of the standings with three losses on the trot in this competition and the seventh in a row in PSL history.
The chase for 180 was very much on when Karachi were 24 runs behind Lahore at the midpoint by reaching 72-2. But the next three overs yielded 42 in no time as captain Kumar Sangakkara (65 off 45 balls, eight fours and one six) and Shoaib Malik (39 off 30, two sixes) upped the tempo of their brilliant partnership, bringing up 100 of the stand off 64 balls.
But once they got dismissed, wickets fell in clusters, much to the anguish of Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur, who is in charge of the Karachi franchise.
Earlier, the toss winner in the league saw Sangakkara maintain the fielding-first strategy for the eighth game on the trot. Lahore Qalandars, taking advantage of another good-looking pitch, raced to 96-2 at the halfway point, thanks mainly to man of the match Fakhar Zaman’s exhilarating stroke-play.
The talented Fakhar came to the party with a maiden half-century in his only fourth PSL appearance by striking 56 in a 36-ball innings, featuring five boundaries and three sixes while opening his account with the maximum when he hoisted Imad Wasim over the square-leg skirting. Then he thumped an audacious six off Sohail, with the ball flying off an outside edge over third man, as the left-hander attempted to slog through the onside.
J.J. Roy b Sohail 26
B.B. McCullum b Imad 0
Fakhar Zaman c Usman b Usama 56
Umar Akmal c Bopara b Usama 25
Mohammad Rizwan lbw b Sohail 29
G.D. Elliott c Sangakkara b Amir 17
S.P. Narine c Bopara b Amir 13
Sohail Tanvir not out 3
Mohammad Irfan run out 1
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-8) 9
TOTAL (for eight wkts, 20 overs) 179
FALL OF WKTS: 1-12, 2-57, 3-104, 4-119, 5-158, 6-175, 7-176, 8-179.
DID NOT BAT: Bilawal Bhatti, Yasir Shah.
BOWLING: Mohammad Amir 4-0-30-2; Imad Wasim 1-0-15-1; Sohail Khan 4-0-37-2 (1w); Usman Khan Shinwari 4-0-35-0 (3w); Usama Mir 4-0-35-2; Bopara 2-0-19-0.
Babar Azam c Bilawal b Irfan 9
C.H. Gayle c Umar b Narine 5
K.C. Sangakkara b Sohail 65
Shoaib Malik c Sohail b Bilawal 39
K.A. Pollard b Narine 8
R.S. Bopara c Bilawal b Sohail 5
Imad Wasim run out 6
Sohail Khan b Irfan 10
Mohammad Amir not out 11
Usama Mir not out 4
EXTRAS (LB-2, W-6, NB-2) 10
TOTAL (for eight wkts, 20 overs) 172
FALL OF WKTS: 1-7, 2-21, 3-122, 4-125, 5-137, 6-147, 7-156, 8-168.
DID NOT BAT: Usman Khan Shinwari.
BOWLING: Sohail Tanvir 4-0-30-2 (3w); Narine 4-0-31-2 (1w); Mohammad Irfan 4-0-35-2 (1nb); Bilawal Bhatti 4-0-34-1 (1nb, 2w); Yasir Shah 2-0-18-0; Elliott 2-0-22-0.
RESULT: Lahore Qalandars won by seven runs.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Fakhar Zaman.
Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2017