DUBAI: Lahore Qalandars, inspired by hostile bowling of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf, won the crucial clash against Karachi Kings in the HBL Pakistan Super League at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday night.
Not even a brief rain interruption could prevent Lahore from chalking up a thoroughly-deserved first win — by a handsome margin of 22 runs by T20 standards — after losing to holders Islamabad United on opening night of the fourth season of the league on Thursday.
Chasing 139 on a sluggish pitch, Karachi were sent packing for 116 in 19.5 overs after reaching 90-3 from 15.2 overs when rain began. But upon resumption Lahore were all over their old foes as seven wickets tumbled without a trace.
Shaheen was magnificent upfront. First he got rid of the dangerous Liam Livingstone by uprooting his middle stump and then returned in middle overs to remove Colin Ingram.
The 23-year-old Haris, the strapping speedster from Rawalpindi who is a product of the Qalandars’ development scheme, then turned the game on its head with double strikes in each of his last two overs to finish with 4-23 — the best figures in the ongoing competition thus far — and the man-of-the-match award.
The solitary dampener for Lahore, who have now won three of their seven matches with Karachi, was a finger injury to their skipper Mohammad Hafeez, who left the field with A.B. de Villiers taking over the captaincy.
Put into bat after Imad Wasim won the toss, the Lahore innings tailed off after another bright beginning from Fakhar Zaman and Sohail Akhtar, who shared an opening partnership of 64 from the first eight overs.
Sohail was the dominant partner until he was held at long-off via a leading edge when he charged at teenaged spinner Umar Khan. His 39 from 25 balls included three fours and two sixes.
Fakhar perished to a nice catch by Rizwan behind the stumps after scoring a 28-ball 26 (two boundaries).
Anton Devcich was the only batsman thereafter to give stability to the total before being the sixth man dismissed, taken at deep midwicket off Mohammad Amir for a 30-ball 28 which contained two boundaries.
In between those wickets, A.B. de Villiers became young Umar’s second victim when a slog-sweep went into the hands of Ravi Bopara, while Hafeez and Brendan Taylor both got run out.
Sunday features another double-header with Lahore again in action in the night fixture against Peshawar Zalmi after Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators figure in the afternoon fixture.
F. Zaman c Rizwan b Sikandar 26
S. Akhtar c Babar b Umar 39
A.P. Devcich c Bopara b Amir 28
A.B. de Villiers c Bopara b Umar 3
Mohammad Hafeez run out 14
B.R.M. Taylor run out 13
G.C. Viljoen not out 8
Yasir Shah not out 2
EXTRAS: (LB-3, W-2) 5
TOTAL: (for six wkts, 20 overs) 138
FALL OF WKTS: 1-64, 2-77, 3-82, 4-103, 5-127, 6-127.
DID NOT BAT: Shaheen Shah Afridi, Rahat Ali, Haris Rauf.
BOWLING: Imad Wasim 4-0-26-0 (1w); Mohammad Amir 4-0-21-1; Usman Khan Shinwari 2-0-25-0; Sohail Khan 4-0-29-0 (1w); Umar Khan 4-0-25-2; Sikandar Raza 2-0-9-1.
L.S. Livingstone b Shaheen 11
Babar Azam b Viljoen 28
Mohammad Rizwan b Haris 34
C.A. Ingram b Shaheen 16
R.S. Bopara c Fakhar b Haris 1
Imad Wasim c Yasir b Haris 17
S. Raza c Devcich b Rahat 5
Sohail Khan b Haris 0
M. Amir c de Villiers b Rahat 1
Umar Khan c Haris b Rahat 0
U. Khan Shinwari not out 0
EXTRAS: (LB-1, W-2) 3
TOTAL: (all out, 19.5 overs) 116
FALL OF WKTS: 1-13, 2-60, 3-90, 4-93, 5-94, 6-111, 7-111, 8-116,
BOWLING: Yasir Shah 2-0-11-0; Shaheen Shah Afridi 4-0-20-2; Viljoen 4-0-30-1 (2w); Rahat Ali 3.5-0-19-3; Mohammad Hafeez 1.5-0-12-0; Haris Rauf 4-0-23-4; Sohail Akhtar 0.1-0-0-0.
RESULT: Lahore Qalandars won by 22 runs.
UMPIRES: R.K. Illingworth (England) and S. Raza (Pakistan).
TV UMPIRE: Rashid Riaz (Pakistan).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Haris Rauf.
Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2019