KARACHI: The high-voltage derby HBL Pakistan Super League clash on Sunday night was as boisterous as everyone had anticipated. And despite being buoyed by the support from the noisy crowd, Karachi Kings finished second best to the Fakhar Zaman-inspired Lahore Qalandars in a thrilling finish.
Lahore’s fourth triumph in 12 matches — achieved with only four balls to spare — against their old rivals was set up by Fakhar’s superlative 83 and it also kept the remarkable sequence of chasing side emerging victorious for the 11 straight fixture in the ongoing tournament.
Fakhar, the man-of-the-match, kept Lahore Qalandars in sight of the 187-run target after Karachi Kings had collected 186-9. The Pakistan left-hander was caught in the deep after striking eight fours and four sixes during his 54-ball innings.
Fakhar’s dismissal also brought an end to his 118-runs partnership in 78 deliveries with Ben Dunk (unbeaten 57 off 43 balls, five fours and two sixes) after Lahore Qalandars had been reduced from two wickets down for no runs to 33-3 — when Mohammad Hafeez was caught at point for 15 — but David Wiese came out to smash everything in range. The former South African all-rounder crunched three sixes, including two on the trot when Daniel Cristian came on for the last over, and three fours in a nine-ball cameo of 31.
Karachi Kings — for whom their skipper Imad Wasim mysteriously didn’t turn his arm over after getting out for a golden duck — were banking on Mohammad Amir to rescue them but the disgruntled paceman was smashed by Dunk and Wiese for 20 runs — 4, 1, 4, 4, 6 and 1 — in the penultimate over which started with Lahore still needing 30 runs. But the 39 runs added in just a dozen deliveries by the Dunk-Wiese duo killed off Karachi Kings altogether after these two sides had met in the PSL V final in late November.
There was no doubt about the significance of this battle which was spiced up by matchups between several Pakistan stars — whether current or the past — and none was more alluring sight when Shaheen Shah Afridi cleaned up Amir and had sent him on his way with a menacing glare.
Sharjeel Khan and Mohammad Nabi both hit rapid half-centuries but losing five wickets for 37 runs in 25 deliveries at the death derailed the chance of the first 200 score while batting first.
The pitch — which was used for the opening fixture when Karachi Kings shot out Quetta Gladiators for 121 in an eight-wicket victory — made no difference as far as the toss was concerned and when Imad Wasim called incorrectly it was no rocket science to know which team had to bat upfront.
Both sides made one change apiece with Zeeshan Ashraf coming in for his first game in this PSL after replacing seamer Salman Mirza, while paceman Mohammad Ilyas was drafted into the Karachi Kings XI in place of Aamir Yamin, who didn’t bowl a single ball against Multan Sultans on Saturday afternoon.
Sharjeel enjoyed a huge slice of luck on eight when Sohail spilled one of the easiest catches at mid-on, with the captain pinpointing being unsighted by the glare of the light tower positioned straight over the giant electronic scoreboard.
The unfortunate bowler was Shaheen who then saw Babar being dropped at slip by Fakhar in the third over of the innings. However, it didn’t hurt Lahore because the next ball saw Babar (5) having his stumps rattled by one which ricocheted off the front pad.
Joe Clarke (4) was run out in a mix-up with Sharjeel and Colin Ingram was bowled on the very next delivery as Karachi Kings slipped to 37-3 in the fifth over. But Sharjeel was clear in his mind that no matter what the situation, he’ll not restrained in his approach.
Dealing mainly in sixes, Sharjeel chanced his arms disdainfully as the left-handed opener and Nabi put Karachi Kings back on track in a scintillating fourth-wicket partnership of 76 in 43 balls, until Samit Patel held a well-judged catch inside the mid-wicket boundary when Sharjeel attempted to clear the fence.
With Sharjeel departing to rapturous cheers from the fans, who their trumpets in operation virtually nonstop —after striking six sixes and five fours in a 39-ball 64. Nabi (57 off 35 balls, four fours and three sixes) and Christian (27 off 14) also accelerated in a quickfire stand of 45 but it was never enough.
(Tabulated under, played, won, lost, tied, no-result, points, net run-rate):
Peshawar Zalmi 4 3 1 0 0 6 +0.430
Lahore Qalandars 4 3 1 0 0 6 +0.085
Karachi Kings 4 2 2 0 0 4 +0.077
Islamabad United 3 2 1 0 0 4 -0.175
Multan Sultans 4 1 3 0 0 2 -0.019
Quetta Gladiators 3 0 3 0 0 0 -1.530
Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR
Sharjeel Khan c Patel b Wiese 64 39 5 6 164.10
Babar Azam b Shaheen 5 5 0 0 100.00
J.M. Clarke run out 4 6 1 0 66.66
C.A. Ingram b Ahmed 0 1 0 0 0.00
Mohammad Nabi c Sohail b Haris 57 35 4 3 162.85
D.T. Christian run out 27 14 5 0 192.85
Imad Wasim c Denly b Patel 0 1 0 0 0.00
Waqas Maqsood b Shaheen 12 11 2 0 109.09
Mohammad Ilyas not out 4 5 0 0 80.0
Mohammad Amir b Shaheen 0 2 0 0 0.00
Arshad Iqbal not out 0 1 0 0 0.00
EXTRAS (B-1, LB-1, W-11) 13
TOTAL (for nine wkts, 20 overs) 186
FALL OF WKTS: 1-20 (Babar), 2-37 (Clarke), 3-37 (Ingram), 4-113 ((Sharjeel), 5-158 (Nabi), 6-162 (Imad), 7-176 (Christian), 8-184 (Waqas), 9-185 (Amir).
BOWLING: Shaheen Shah Afridi 4-0-27-3 (2w); Mohammad Hafeez 2-0-19-0; Haris Rauf 4-0-32-1; Ahmed Daniyal 4-0-37-1 (3w); Wiese 4-0-42-1 (2w); Patel 2-0-27-1.
Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR
Fakhar Zaman c Babar b Christian 83 54 8 4 153.70
Sohail Akhtar run out 0 0 0 0 0.00
J.L. Denly b Amir 0 1 0 0 0.00
Mohammad Hafeez c Babar b Waqas 15 9 1 1 166.66
B.R. Dunk not out 57 43 5 2 132.55
D. Wiese not out 31 9 3 3 344.44
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-2) 3
TOTAL (for four wkts, 19.2 overs) 189
FALL OF WKTS: 1-0 (Sohail), 2-0 (Denly), 3-33 (Hafeez), 4-152 (Fakhar)
DID NOT BAT: Zeeshan Ashraf, S.R. Patel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Ahmed Daniyal.
BOWLING: Mohammad Amir 4-0-34-1; Mohammad Ilyas 2-0-31-0 (1w); Waqas Maqsood 3-0-26-1; Arshad Iqbal 3-0-25-0; Mohammad Nabi 4-0-31-0; Christian 3.2-0-39-1 (1w).
RESULT: Lahore Qalandars won by six wickets.
UMPIRES: Ahsan Raza (Pakistan) and R.K. Illingworth (England).
TV UMPIRE: Rashid Riaz (Pakistan).
MATCH REFEREE: R.S. Mahanama (Sri Lanka).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Fakhar Zaman (Lahore Qalandars).
MONDAY’S FIXTURE: Quetta Gladiators vs Islamabad United (7:00pm PST).
Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2021