HBL PSL: Munro mauls Kings as United start off with victory

Published February 17, 2023
KARACHI: Islamabad United batter Colin Munro drives during the HBL Pakistan Super League match against Karachi Kings at the National Stadium on Thursday.
—Tahir Jamal/White Star
KARACHI: Islamabad United batter Colin Munro drives during the HBL Pakistan Super League match against Karachi Kings at the National Stadium on Thursday. —Tahir Jamal/White Star

KARACHI: Barring a few worrisome moments, it was a cakewalk for Islamabad United at the National Stadium here in front of a far-from-the-capacity crowd on a hazy Thursday evening.

But it wouldn’t have looked this easy for the two-time champions had it not been for brilliant contributions from Colin Munro and Azam Khan, who ensured their team took the game against Karachi Kings by four wickets in their opening fixture of the eighth season of the HBL Pakistan Super League.

It also meant Kings lost their second match in a row, already casting doubts over their fate this season after the side had one to forget last year.

Munro arrived at the crease in the fifth over, with United having lost opener Hassan Nawaz to Mohammad Amir and his partner Paul Stirling to a Musa Khan yorker early as the side pursued a target of 174.

The New Zealander attacked right from the start as he found three boundaries through the off-side of Musa in the same over. In the next over, South African Rassie van der Dussen scooped Andrew Tye for another boundary before Munro finished the over with another.

The two batters smoked a maximum each off James Fuller in the next over as Islamabad looked like cruising towards the target. Fuller then returned to concede 14 as van der Dussen powered him through the off-side before Munro hit another six.

It was Kings skipper Imad Wasim who broke the 59-run partnership, cleaning up van der Dussen (31) with the arm ball in the 10th over, by the end of which Islamabad were needing 91.

Munro, though, kept going. The left-hander lifted Tye over point in the next over after Azam had got his first boundary with a clip around the legs. The bulky right-hander then got lucky to get a six off a miscued sweep off Musa before flicking for another four.

Azam then whacked the returning Tye for yet another boundary before Munro heaved him over long on for a six to bring up his half-century. The New Zealander bludgeoned Fuller for another maximum in the next over before being run out on the non-striker’s end after making 58 off 28.

Azam continued his onslaught as he outsmarted Musa for three boundaries in the next over only to find Haider Ali in the deep to depart at 44 off 28 with Islamabad needing 23 off the last six overs.

With two new batters in Faheem Ashraf and Asif Ali on the crease, Imad bowled a tight over but Faheem made up for it when he carved Amir for two consecutive boundaries through square on the off side in the next over.

The left-hander lost his wicket on the next ball, as Irfan Khan Niazi took a brilliant catch at short midwicket, but by then, the damage had been done with United needing just a six and a four by Tom Curran wrapped things up.

United were off to an ideal start after putting the Kings into bat with Rumman Raees castling James Vince with an in-swinger right after the English opener had driven the left-armer for a first boundary straight down the ground.

First-drop Haider Ali (59) and Sharjeel Khan (34) hit back at United, taking Kings to 55-1 by the end of the powerplay. United stopped the flow of runs in the next two overs but Haider released some pressure, hitting Faheem for four and then getting a six and four off Shadab Khan.

But United eventually broke the 77-run stand thanks to Munro’s superb fielding effort as he ran from deep midwicket to catch Sharjeel’s miscued a pull-off Curran.

Haider brought up his half-century off 39 balls with a six and a four off Shadab in the 12th over and the United skipper was brought under the hammer once again two overs later with Matthew Wade reverse sweeping the spinner for his first boundary before Haider cut him over point.

Haider departed in an attempt to clear long-on and Wade (18) followed exactly six balls later, caught behind off Mohammad Wasim; the United pacer added the wicket of Imad on the next delivery to leave the Kings reeling at 126-5 with four overs to go.

Irfan Khan made 19 off 11 with two sixes and veteran Shoaib Malik made 18 off 10 before the latter was dismissed by Rumman in the final over with a four by Fuller enabling Kings to finish on 173-7.

SCOREBOARD

KARACHI KINGS:

Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

Sharjeel Khan c Munro b Curran 34 26 4 1 130.76

James Vince b Rumman 4 3 1 0 133.33

Haider Ali c van der Dussen b Faheem 59 45 7 2 131.11

Matthew Wade c Azam b Wasim 18 18 2 0 100.00

Shoaib Malik c Shadab b Rumman 18 10 2 1 180.00

Imad Wasim c Asif b Wasim 0 1 0 0 0.00

Irfan Khan c Azam b Curran 19 11 0 2 172.72

James Fuller not out 12 5 2 0 240.00

Andrew Tye not out 1 1 0 0 100.00

EXTRAS (LB-2, W-6) 8

TOTAL (for seven wickets, 20 overs) 173

DID NOT BAT: Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Musa

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-5 (Vince), 2-82 (Sharjeel), 3-117 (Haider), 4-125 (Wade), 5-125 (Imad), 6-151 (Irfan), 7-166 (Shoaib)

BOWLING: Rumman 4-0-26-2 (2w), Faheem 4-0-25-1, Wasim 4-0-38-2 (2w), Curran 4-0-42-2 (1w), Shadab 4-0-40-0 (1w)

ISLAMABAD UNITED:

Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

Paul Stirling lbw b Musa 4 7 0 0 57.14

Hassan Nawaz c Wade b Amir 7 7 1 0 100.00

Rassie van der Dussen b Imad 31 25 4 1 124.00

Colin Munro run out 58 28 5 4 207.14

Azam Khan c Haider b Musa 44 28 6 1 157.14

Asif Ali not out 4 5 0 0 80.00

Faheem Ashraf c Irfan b Amir 12 7 2 0 171.42

Tom Curran not out 10 3 1 1 333.33

EXTRAS (LB-6, W-2) 8

TOTAL (for six wickets, 18.2 overs) 178

DID NOT BAT: Shadab Khan, Mohammad Wasim, Rumman Raees

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-8 (Hassan), 2-21 (Stirling), 3-80 (van der Dussen), 4-136 (Munro), 5-151 (Azam), 6-165 (Faheem)

BOWLING: Imad 4-0-19-1, Amir 4-0-30-2 (1w), Musa 4-0-48-2, Tye 3-0-31-0 (1w), Fuller 3-0-37-0, Shoaib 0.2-0-7-0

RESULT: Islamabad United won by four wickets.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2023

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