KARACHI: Brilliant Mohammad Nabi showed his striking prowess as he and the classy Babar Azam helped Karachi Kings overcome a lethargic bowling effort to thump Peshawar Zalmi by six wickets in their HBL Pakistan Super League 6 fixture at the National Stadium here on Wednesday.
The 13th consecutive victory by the chasing side in this edition came as no surprise but Peshawar were definitely to blame themselves for shoddy fielding and equally poor bowling after reducing Karachi to 43-3 in seven overs and then dropping a dolly catch offered by Nabi.
Had Amad Butt not fumbled that chance — when Nabi was on 20 with Karachi struggling at 71-3 in pursuit of a 189-run target — Peshawar may have altered the trend of team batting first winning after losing the toss.
Nabi, named Man-of-the-Match, took the game away from Peshawar with a brutal 35-ball innings of 67 and he was dismissed after putting on 118 in 57 balls with Babar, Karachi had the match firmly in their grasp as they nonchalantly moved to the top of the table on a superior net run-rate with three wins from four matches.
Babar, as usual, was brilliant in the role of the finisher as the all-format Pakistan captain saw Karachi home while contributing 77 from 47 deliveries with the aid of six fours and three sixes. It was Babar’s 17th half-century in PSL, and when Dan Christian struck the winning runs with three balls to spare, Babar was left stranded on 5,999 runs in 170 T20 appearances.
However, it was Nabi’s power-hitting — highlighted by eight boundaries and four sixes — that ultimately put the reigning champions in driving seat but a slice of luck. The former Afghanistan skipper rubbed salt into the wound following the miss by Amad in the 11th over as he sent the next ball from Umaid Asif for a six.
England paceman Saqib Mahmood, the highest wicket-taker in this PSL with 12 victims, came back to get rid of Nabi at the start of the 17th but by then Peshawar were already resigned to their fate despite sending back the in-form Sharjeel Khan — caught by the lanky Mohammad Irfan inside the 30-yard circle — on the opening delivery of the chase.
Earlier, Karachi were equally pathetic with their bowling in the death overs that allowed Peshawar to plunder as many as 86 runs from the final six overs with Christian leading the way as Amad provided the thrust to his team’s innings with a spectacular seven-ball cameo of 27. Christian, meanwhile, earned the dubious landmark of delivering the most expensive over in the PSL history as the former Australian all-rounder was plundered for 32 runs in a sequence which went like this: four, wide, four, four, six, two, five runs from a wide going to the boundary and a six.
Christian’s team-mate Aamir Yamin held the previous record when the discarded Pakistan seamer conceded 29 runs in his only over of the match against Islamabad United Peshawar — who were without regular skipper Wahab Riaz through a niggle — engineered a fine recovery after slipping to 69-4 at the halfway stage of their innings through a partnership of 82 in 54 deliveries between Ravi Bopara and Sherfane Rutherford.
After losing Kamran Akmal (21), Tom Kohler-Cadmore (10) and the stand-in captain Shoaib Malik (1) with just 39 runs in the Powerplay, Bopara (58 off 40 balls, six fours and one six) and the left-handed Rutherford (46 off 32, three sixes and three fours) ensured Peshawar put up decent runs against a side which was backed to the hilt by the noisy ‘home’ crowd.
Mohammad Abbas Afridi, who is nephew of former Pakistan seamer Umar Gul who is the bowling coach at Quetta Gladiators, starred on his T20 debut with the wickets of Kamran and Kohler-Cadmore in his second over as the 19-year-old paceman ended up with 2-27 in his four-over stint.
Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR
Kamran Akmal c Ilyas b Abbas 21 17 4 0 123.53
T. Kohler-Cadmore c Sharjeel b Abbas 10 11 0 1 90.91 Shoaib Malik lbw b Ilyas 1 2 0 0 50.00
Haider Ali c Abbas b Christian 9 12 1 0 75.00
R.S. Bopara not out 58 40 6 1 145.00
S. Rutherford c Clarke b Ilyas 46 32 3 3 143.75
Amad Butt not out 27 7 3 2 385.71
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-14, NB-1) 16
TOTAL (for five wkts, 20 overs) 188
FALL OF WKTS: 1-30 (Kamran), 2-33 (Kohler-Cadmore), 3-34 (Malik), 4-69 (Haider), 5-151 (Rutherford).
DID NOT BAT: Umaid Asif, Saqib Mahmood, Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Irfan.
BOWLING: Mohammad Amir 4-0-29-0 (3w); Mohammad Ilyas 4-0-38-2; Mohammad Abbas Afridi 4-0-27-2 (1nb, 3w); Imad Wasim 1-0-16-0; Arshad Iqbal 2-0-20-0 (1w); Christian 3-0-45-1 (2w); Mohammad Nabi 2-0-12-0 (1w).
Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR
Sharjeel Khan c Irfan b Imran 0 1 0 0 0.00
Babar Azam not out 77 47 6 3 163.83
J.M. Clarke c Kamran b Irfan 17 14 4 0 121.43
C.A. Ingram c Haider b Saqib 3 11 0 0 27.27
Mohammad Nabi c K-Cadmore b Saqib 67 35 8 4 191.43
D.T. Christian not out 16 9 2 1 177.78
EXTRAS (LB-2, W-9) 11
TOTAL (for four wkts, 19.3 overs) 191
FALL OF WKTS: 1-0 (Sharjeel), 2-22 (Clarke), 3-43 (Ingram), 4-161 (Nabi).
DID NOT BAT: Imad Wasim, Mohammad Ilyas, Arshad Iqbal, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas Afridi.
BOWLING: Mohammad Imran 4-0-25-1; Mohammad Irfan 4-0-26-1 (1w); Saqib Mahmood 4-0-41-2 (3w); Amad Butt 4-0-56-0 (1w); Umaid Asif 3.3-0-41-0.
RESULT: Karachi Kings won by six wickets.
UMPIRES: Rashid Riaz (Pakistan) and Shozab Raza (Pakistan).
TV UMPIRE: Ahsan Raza (Pakistan).
MATCH REFEREE: Iftikhar Ahmed (Pakistan).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Mohammad Nabi (Karachi Kings).
Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2021
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