Islamabad United successfully chased the 162-run target set by Karachi Kings in the nail-biting 2019 Pakistan Super League showdown between the two sides at the Karachi National Stadium on Thursday.
With this loss, the Kings have been kicked out of the tournament, whereas United are yet to secure a place in the finals, with one more face-off left to triumph in. United will need to defeat Peshawar Zalmi in Friday's eliminator match in order to advance on to the finals.
Karachi Kings innings
After winning the toss and deciding to bat first, the Kings got off to a strong start, securing 61 runs at the end of 5 overs.
The PSL noted on Twitter that it was only the second time in 32 matches of this PSL season that the captain winning the toss had elected to bat first. It was Karachi Kings who opted to bat first in the first instance as well.
They lost their first wicket in the fourth over, when Colin Munro was caught by Luke Ronchi off Muhammad Musa's bowling.
But before his exit, Munro contributed 32 runs off 11 balls in a blistering knock that saw him hit six 4s and a 6.
The Kings lost their second player in the 11th over as Livingstone was caught by Faheem Ashraf off Shadab Khan. He put 30 runs on the scoreboard in 25 balls.
The subsequent wicket to go down was that of Babar Azam who was edged out on Rumman Raees' delivery in the 12th over. He added 42 runs to the total off 32 balls.
Next to go was Colin Ingram on Muhammad Musa's delivery. He put up 23 runs off 16 balls.
Then in a domino effect, Iftikhar Ahmad and Dunk soon followed suit, ousted within 3 balls of one another. Iftikhar went on Musa's delivery after scoring a single run off two deliveries while Dunk was ousted by Faheem Ashraf at 12 runs off 11 balls.
In another upset, Aamer Yamin was run out by Muhammad Sami off Musa's delivery. He made an unceremonious exit having added only a single run to the scoreboard.
Umer Khan was next, going out for a duck, after being bowled out by Faheem Ashraf.
Usman Shinwari and Imad Wasim were under immense pressure at the end to pile more runs on for the side to bring the total up. Imad succeeded in scoring a total of 13 whereas Usman only managed a single run.
Muhammad Musa was the tormentor-in-chief from the United side bagging 3 wickets for 42 runs followed by Faheem Ashraf who took 2 for 30.
Islamabad United innings
United in comparison, got off to a rocky beginning with the loss of Ronchi early on and Deplort and Walton's wickets soon after but did well to recover with the stability provided by Hales who after replacing Ronchi stuck around till the 16th over, and was awarded man of the match for his solid contribution.
Ronchi, who was caught out at mid on by Babar Azam at the end of 3 overs, scored 5 runs off 9 balls during his brief stint.
The next to go was Delport who was caught out at the boundary by Babad Azam off Umer Khan's delivery at 8.1 overs. He put up 38 runs off 27 balls.
Two balls later, Walton was out for naught after being caught behind by Dunk off Umer Khan's delivery.
The middle of the 13th over saw some drama as Hales was thought to have been run out. The decision by the third empire ruled in his favour after it was clearly visible that he made it back to the crease before the bails could be hit by Dunk.
Hales eventually got out on Aamer Yamin's ball in the 16th over but after putting up 41 runs off 42 balls with 5 fours and a six in the mix.
Hussain Talat was also crucial in putting up quick runs as he scored 32 off 19 balls alongside Hales. Talat was taken out by Shinwari's delivery with Babar Azam catching the ball at long on at the end of 17 overs.
Asif Ali, who remained standing till the very end, and Faheem Ashraf, took the match closer to victory with their stand of 24 and 17 runs respectively.
Ashraf in the last over was desperate to take the glory shot but was caught out by Yamin at deep point.
The top bowlers from the Kings' side were Aamer Yamin and Umer Khan with two wickets apiece. Mohammad Amir and Usman Shinwari took one wicket each.
Karachi Kings: Babar Azam, C Munro, LS Livingstone, CA Ingram, BR Dunk, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim (c), Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Umer Khan, Usman Shinwari
Islamabad United: L Ronchi, CS Delport, AD Hales, CAK Walton, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Hussain Talat, Mohammad Sami (c), Muhammad Musa, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan