Luke Ronchi's explosive 67 runs off 35 balls led Islamabad United to a seven-wicket win in their Pakistan Super League clash against Karachi Kings at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Karachi Kings innings
The Kings set a 144-run target for United to chase, which was on the lower end of the targets we have seen in the series so far.
After losing the toss and being put in to bat first, the Kings suffered a nightmare start and were three-down as early as the fourth over. The port city side had pinned their hopes on star batsman Babar Azam (27 off 21) but when he was run-out in the 9th over, they were languishing at 46-4.
Liam Livingstone chipped in with 22 but he and captain Imad Wasim (0) were both cleaned up by the scintillating Faheem Ashraf on back-to-back 14th over deliveries.
At six down, the chances of Kings posting a competitive total were dwindling. But surprisingly, those half-a-dozen wickets were all that the Kings lost as Ben Dunk and Aamer Yamin launched an unlikely onslaught late in the innings.
Dunk's 49 and Yamin's 35 helped Karachi finish with a score of 143-6.
Islamabad United innings
Ronchi, who remained not out at the end of the innings, put up an impressive total of of 67 runs — including eight 4s and three 6s — to set United up for their win.
Cameron Delport, who was cheaply run out at 0 runs by Colin Munro, left Karachi Kings a man down for just 5 runs. But Sahibzada Farhan was more than ready to sustain the initial jolt of losing Delport, and managed a steady 30 runs off 28 balls, while Ronchi delivered the big hits. But Farhan was bowled out by Kings' skipper Imad Wasim in the 8th over.
Hussain Talat, who came in to replace Farhan, went in the next delivery leaving Islamabad reeling at three men down by the 9th over.
But in comes Samit Patel, whose assured 45 runs (not out) off 30 deliveries gave Ronchi the stability he needed to see Islamabad United to an emphatic victory.
Islamabad United: 1 Luke Ronchi, 2 Sahibzada Farhan, 3 Cameron Delport, 4 Hussain Talat, 5 Asif Ali, 6 Shadab Khan (capt), 7 Faheem Ashraf, 8 Wayne Parnell, 9 Samit Patel, 10 Rumman Raees, 11 Mohammad Musa
Karachi Kings: 1 Colin Munro, 2 Babar Azam, 3 Awais Zia, 4 Colin Ingram, 5 Liam Livingstone, 6 Ben Dunk, 7 Imad Wasim (capt), 8 Aamer Yamin, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Umer Khan, 11 Usman Shinwari
An earlier version of the story had erroneously stated that the match was held at the Dubai Cricket Stadium. The error is regretted.