HBL PSL 2024: Munro stars as United pummel listless Kings

Published February 29, 2024
Islamabad United wicket-keeper Azam Khan celebrates after stumping Karachi Kings opener Tim Seifert during the HBL Pakistan Super League match at the National Bank Stadium on Wednesday.—Tahir Jamal/White Star
Islamabad United wicket-keeper Azam Khan celebrates after stumping Karachi Kings opener Tim Seifert during the HBL Pakistan Super League match at the National Bank Stadium on Wednesday.—Tahir Jamal/White Star

KARACHI: Karachi Kings’ homecoming wasn’t the one they were looking for. Here at the National Bank Stadium on Wedn­esday, the crowd came in in meagre numbers and there was hardly any excitement as the ninth edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League arrived in the city.

The dead vibe, it seemed, got the better of the Kings, who showed no fight whatsoever as Islamabad United bulldozed over them to register a seven-wicket wicket win.

It was an opening onslaught by Islamabad’s Colin Munro and Alex Hales as both seasoned campaigners hit out at ease, making the pitch look like it was a different one when Karachi batted.

Although Hales and Munro departed after scoring 47 off 35 balls and 82 off 47 respectively, they put up an opening stand of 108.

Their dismissals did slow down things for Islamabad, with Imad Wasim losing his wicket early, but Salman Ali Agha hit 25 off 17 to take his team across the line with nine balls to spare as Karachi rued not doing enough after being put into bat by the visitors earlier.

Karachi’s start was shaky and the proceedings stayed slow for them until Kieron Pollard and Irfan Khan Niazi made some kind of amends deep into the innings.

 ISLAMABAD United’s opener Colin Munro drives during his 82-run knock.—PPI
ISLAMABAD United’s opener Colin Munro drives during his 82-run knock.—PPI

Pollard, uncharacteristically of the former West Indies player, nudged for singles and doubles through most of his time on the crease for his unbeaten 48 off 28 balls after Karachi had lost five wickets for just 89 runs by the start of the 14th over.

Irfan, meanwhile, ensured he stuck along with the veteran and ended up contributing a cameo of 27 not out off 22.

Both had to stretch their stay in the middle after a slow start by Karachi, for whom the top-order batters failed to show up.

New Zealand’s Tim Seifert, who had joined the Kings a day earlier, was the first to go, and as early as in the second over, getting stumped by Islamabad wicket-keeper Azam Khan after being deceived by Imad Wasim’s flight.

The early wicket kept Karachi restricted to 46-1 by the end of the powerplay despite Leus de Plooy’s counter-punching effort as he came in as first drop.

Azam missed a run out chance as he failed to collect the ball with de Plooy was far from the crease, but the Englishman was cleaned up by Salman on the next ball.

Shan, who was struggling to find runs and was scoring at less than run-a-ball, was undone by Hunain Shah’s yorker as the right-armer sent the off-stump flying.

Karachi were 73-3 at the halfway stage and went deeper into trouble when a lightning quick pick and throw from Shadab at short-cover capitalised on confusion in the middle to run out Shoaib Malik in the 11th over.

Mohammad Nawaz chipped Naseem into the hands of Shadab at cover, slowing down things further with Pollard and Irfan on the crease.

Karachi’s 100 came up in the 15th over and the next boundary after a gap of three overs, when Pollard flicked Rumman Raees’ medium pace for four and guided an off-stump yorker for another.

The penultimate over saw Irfan dispatch Rum­man for three fours before Pollard hit the innings’ first six in the last over.

The duo’s approach, however, did not get Karachi even close to a competitive total.

United’s response was lethal from the word go, as Hales drilled pacer Mir Hamza for consecutive boun­d­aries in the third over, before Munro made it worse for the left-armer to wrap it up.

Munro and Hales toget­her managed boundaries in each of the next three overs to register 60-0 by the end of the powerplay.

Even after the field restrictions were lifted, the pairing did not relent. The eighth over saw Munro launching chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi for three consecutive sixes, one of them coming off a switch-hit and the other two slow sweeps over the leg-side boundary as the batter crossed the 50-run mark.

Hales departed when he holed out pacer Hasan Ali to Irfan at midwicket in the 12th over, but Munro kept going as he carted Hasan over deep backway square for another six.

The former New Zea­land opener earned anot­her boundary off Nawaz in the 15th only to get trapped lbw by the left-arm spinner two balls later.

Following the openers’ return to the pavilion, the surface showed signs of aging as the ball kept low and slow. Imad, however, threw his wicket away as he played Shamsi right into the hands of Shan at cover off a loose ball.

Salman and the incoming Shadab Khan respe­cted the conditions, before the former launched Hasan for two handsome sixes to wrap up the proceedings.

Scoreboard

KARACHI KINGS: Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR Shan Masood b Hunain 27 30 3 0 90.00 Tim Seifert st Azam b Imad 8 9 0 1 88.88 Leus du Plooy b Salman 24 15 4 0 160.00 Shoaib Malik run out (Shadab) 6 7 0 0 85.71 Kieron Pollard not out 48 28 2 1 171.42 Mohammad Nawaz c Shadab b Naseem 6 11 0 0 54.54 Irfan Khan not out 27 22 4 0 122.72 EXTRAS (B-4, LB-2, NB-2, W-11) 19 TOTAL (for five wickets, 20 overs) 165 DID NOT BAT: Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, Tabraiz Shamsi, Mohammad Amir Khan FALL OF WICKETS: 1-17 (Seifert), 2-57 (du Plooy), 3-73 (Shan), 4-73 (Malik), 5-89 (Nawaz) BOWLING: Imad 4-0-20-1, Naseem 4-0-29-1 (2w), Rumman 4-0-45-0 (2w), Salman 2-0-17-1 (1w), Shadab 3-0-18-0, Hunain 3-0-30-1 (1w, 2nb) ISLAMABAD UNITED: Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR Colin Munro lbw b Nawaz 82 47 8 4 174.46 Alex Hales c Irfan b Hasan 47 35 7 0 134.28 Salman Ali Agha not out 25 17 0 2 147.05 Imad Wasim c Shan b Shamsi 0 2 0 0 0.00 Shadab Khan not out 10 11 0 0 90.90 EXTRAS (LB-2, NB-1, W-2) 5 TOTAL (for three wickets, 18.3 overs) 169 DID NOT BAT: Azam Khan, Jordan Cox, Faheem Ashraf, Naseem Shah, Hunain Shah, Rumman Raees FALL OF WICKETS: 1-108 (Hales), 2-138 (Munro), 3-139 (Imad) BOWLING: Hamza 2-0-25-0, Malik 4-0-31-0, Hasan 3.3-0-42-1, Amir 1-0-10-0, Shamsi 3-0-34-1 (1w, 1nb), Nawaz 4-0-23-1, du Plooy 1-0-2-0 RESULT: Islamabad United won by seven wickets. PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Colin Munro

Published in Dawn, February 29th, 2024

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