HBL Pakistan Super League: United clinch last-ball thriller to eliminate Kings

Published February 15, 2022
PACE bowler Waqas Maqsood of Islamabad United runs out Karachi Kings’ Chris Jordan during their HBL Pakistan Super League match at the Gaddafi Stadium on Monday.—AFP
PACE bowler Waqas Maqsood of Islamabad United runs out Karachi Kings’ Chris Jordan during their HBL Pakistan Super League match at the Gaddafi Stadium on Monday.—AFP

LAHORE: Islamabad United needed a hero. Up stepped Waqas Maqsood.

In an enthralling finish at the Gaddafi Stadium on Monday night, the 34-year-old picked two wickets and ran out Chris Jordan on the final delivery to seal a one-run victory for his side and put winless Karachi Kings out of the playoffs race.

Stunning half-centuries by Imad Wasim (55) and Qasim Akram (51 not out) had brought back Kings from the dead and they needed eight runs to win in the final over of their HBL Pakistan Super League clash.

Imad pulled Waqas away through fine leg on the second delivery to put the Kings within touching distance of a much-needed victory with four runs required of the next four balls.

It wasn’t to be though for Kings, who have now lost all seven of their matches, as Waqas grabbed the spotlight.

Imad spooned a catch to Alex Hales at mid-off to be dismissed on the very next ball before Waqas made up for a wide by restricting Qasim, who was batting in full flow, to a single.

Jordan Thompson’s stumps were shattered on the penultimate delivery and with Kings needing a run to force a super over, Waqas spilled a return catch from Jordan but recovered quickly to force the run out that gave United a fourth win in seven games and well in contention for the playoffs.

And it was a win that came without their colossal captain Shadab Khan being on the field after he was injured while fielding.

It was the last five overs of their innings which had put United in good stead.

Faheem Ashraf (29 not out) and Asif (28) were the tormentors-in-chief for Kings as United plundered 67 runs off the last 30 deliveries to lift themselves from 124-5 to an imposing 191-7 after they had been put into bat.

It was a target that proved just enough even though the Kings had half of their side back in the dugout for just 80.

Skipper Babar Azam (13) was undone by Zeeshan Zameer’s length delivery that caught the Pakistan captain by its pace and found the edge through to Azam Khan.

After Zeeshan pulled up, Liam Dawson sent back Joe Clarke as he bowled the final three deliveries of that over.

Sharjeel Khan (44) and Sahibzada Farhan (17) added 59 runs before they were sent back in the space of two deliveries by Asif Ali and Waqas respectively. And worse was to follow as Asif cleaned up Mohammad Nabi for three.

United seemed to be cruising but Imad and Pakistan under-19 captain Qasim refused to go down easily.

Qasim hit six fours and a six while the experienced Imad added six fours and three sixes in a breathtaking 108-run stand as United bowlers were crashed to all parts of the ground.

There were thrills and spills with Qasim getting dropped twice but Kings couldn’t get back up after Imad’s dismissal.

In an eventful opening over of the match, United opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz smashed consecutive sixes on the first two deliveries by Imad — first over long-off and the second lofted over mid-wicket. Imad, thouhg had the last laugh as he Gurbaz caught by Babar at mid-off.

Mir Hamza made it 26-2 as he trapped Mohammad Akhlaq lbw but the score did not deter the in-form Shadab (34) from taking the pacer on.

Hamza was dispatched for a four through mid-wicket before Imad was hit for another boundary through backward point.

Alex Hales joined the party with Shadab as Thompson was hit for 16 in the eighth over, the England batter hitting a six and a four while his captain got a boundary.

Hales (25), however, departed on the first ball of the next over; Babar taking a running catch off Umaid Asif before Shadab saw his middle stump rattled by Imad’s arm-ball to leave his side at 87-4.

Liam Dawson (15) raised United’s 100 with a six over fine-leg off Jordan but soon after edged a slower one by Thompson to Imad at short third man.

Azam (22) began the onslaught that was finished by Asif and Faheem. He cracked two fours and a six before getting run out in the 16th over, which had began with Asif smashing Umaid for two sixes on the first two balls and concluded with Faheem pulling away for a boundary to get off the mark.

Asif seemed unstoppable as Jordan was hit for a six over deep midwicket and a four through the off. But it was one shot too many for him as his pull shot off the third delivery found Sahibzada Farhan on the midwicket fence.

Even though the 18th and 20th overs yielded just seven and six runs respectively, it was the 19th over where Umaid was taken to the cleaners by Faheem.

The last four balls read 6, 4, 6, 4 — the sixes going over long-off and midwicket and the fours through gully and midwicket as United looked well set for 200, only to be denied by a superb final over by Jordan. Jordan, though, couldn’t finish it off for his side.

Scoreboard

ISLAMABAD UNITED: Batters & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR Rahmanullah Gurbaz c Babar b Imad 12 5 0 2 240.00 Alex Hales c Babar b Umaid 25 19 3 1 131.57 Mohammad Akhlaq lbw b Hamza 2 7 0 0 28.57 Shadab Khan b Imad 34 26 3 1 130.76 Liam Dawson c Imad b Thompson 15 16 0 1 93.75 Azam Khan run out (Hamza/Umaid) 22 14 2 1 157.14 Asif Ali c Farhan b Jordan 28 11 1 3 254.54 Faheem Ashraf not out 29 10 3 2 290.00 Hasan Ali not out 12 12 0 0 100.00 EXTRAS (B-1, LB-4, W-7) 12 TOTAL (for seven wickets, 20 overs) 191 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-12 (Gurbaz), 2-26 (Akhlaq), 3-69 (Hales), 4-87 (Shadab), 5-107 (Dawson), 6-137 (Azam), 7-152 (Asif) DID NOT BAT: Waqas Maqsood, Zeeshan Zameer BOWLING: Imad 4-0-30-2, Hamza 4-0-31-1 (2w), Jordan 4-0-39-1, Umaid 4-0-49-1 (1w), Thompson 2-0-22-1, Nabi 2-0-15-0. KARACHI KINGS: Batters & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR Sharjeel Khan c sub (Mubasir) b Asif 44 29 4 3 151.72 Babar Azam c Azam b Zeeshan 13 9 3 0 144.44 Joe Clarke lbw b Dawson 0 2 0 0 0.00 Sahibzada Farhan c Gurbaz b Waqas 17 21 2 0 80.95 Qasim Akram not out 51 26 6 1 196.15 Mohammad Nabi b Asif 3 3 0 0 100.00 Imad Wasim c Hales b Waqas 55 28 6 3 196.42 Jordan Thompson b Waqas 0 1 0 0 0.00 Chris Jordan run out (Waqas) 0 1 0 0 0.00 EXTRAS (LB-3, W-4) 7 TOTAL (for eight wickets, 20 overs) 190 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-17 (Babar), 2-17 (Clarke), 3-76 (Farhan), 4-76 (Sharjeel), 5-80 (Nabi), 6-188 (Imad), 7-190 (Thompson), 8-190 (Jordan). DD NOT BAT: Umaid Asif, Mir Hamza BOWLING: Zeeshan 1.3-0-10-1, Faheem 4-0-48-0 (1w), Dawson 3.3-0-21-1, Hasan 4-0-47-0, Waqas 4-0-34-3 (2w), Asif 3-0-27-2. RESULT: Islamabad United won by one run. UMPIRES: Asif Yaqoob (Pakistan) and Richard Illingworth (England) TV UMPIRE: Rashid Riaz (Pakistan) MATCH REFEREE: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka).

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2022

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