HBL PSL 2024: United edge Kings in high-stakes encounter

Published March 8, 2024
ISLAMABAD United captain Shadab Khan plays a shot as Karachi Kings wicket-keeper Tim Seifert looks on during their HBL Pakistan Super League match at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Thursday.—Tanveer Shahzad/White Star
ISLAMABAD United captain Shadab Khan plays a shot as Karachi Kings wicket-keeper Tim Seifert looks on during their HBL Pakistan Super League match at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Thursday.—Tanveer Shahzad/White Star

RAWALPINDI: The stakes were high as Karachi Kings and Islamabad United locked horns in the most important HBL Pakistan Super League fixture so far here at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

Only a point separated the two sides ahead of the match. While the Kings had their eyes on the fourth spot that Islamabad were occupying in the league stage’s standings, United were fighting to retain that.

And they did need to fight it out on a wicket that assisted the Karachi bowlers to ask questions after their batters had not done so well to put 150-7 on the board.

Despite a small score to chase, Islamabad had a sense of carefulness to their approach as they kept going despite momentary setbacks to cross the line with five wickets to spare.

After they lost their seasoned opening pair of Colin Munro and Alex Hales, early, Islamabad were brought back to safety by captain Shadab Khan and Salman Ali Agha before a late onslaught by Haider Ali took them home.

For Karachi the loss meant that their fate to make the playoffs was out of their hands once again with matches against Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi remaining. Islamabad, meanwhile, climbed to the second in the standings.

Islamabad’s start wasn’t a very confident one as pacer Mir Hamza continuously challenged Hales and Munro with his nagging line and length and subtle variations. The otherwise dangerous power-hitters struggled to connect for boundaries and both became Hamza’s victims during the powerplay only.

While Munro, who found himself clueless against Hamza, found Karachi captain Shan Masood at long-on as the left-armer forced a leading edge off his bat.

Hales, on the other hand, missed a slower one which went on to dislodge his stumps as United managed 47-2 in the first six overs.

Realising the importance of wickets in the situation and with the surface providing help to the bowlers, Shadab and Salman batted steadily, mostly going for singles and doubles to take the team to 78-2 at the halfway stage.

Salman danced down the ground and lifted Mohammad Nawaz’s left-arm spin over long-on in the 12th over to bring up the fifty-run partnership between himself and Shadab.

For all his poise and maturity, Salman (33 off 30) went for a big, wild shot on the next ball by pacer Blessing Muzarabani, only for it to fly off his outside edge and into the gloves of Tim Seifert behind the wickets.

Karachi’s hopes brightened when leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood went on to take a simple return catch to dismiss Azam Khan off his own bowling in the 15th over — when Islamabad needed 40 off 34 balls.

Things got more complicated for Islamabad when Hamza returned to swing one across Shadab (34 off 26) to get the right-hander’s gloves and force another caught behind dismissal.

But the arriving Faheem Ashraf flicked a wayward delivery by Hamza over square-leg for a handsome six on the next ball to bring the required equation down to run-a-ball.

Islamabad relied mostly on running until in the 19th over Haider (26 not out off 16) went after pacer Hasan Ali for a four and a six to finish off the proceedings.

Put into bat earlier, Karachi started off slow and could manage only 38 runs in the powerplay, which also saw Shan depart cheaply off Faheem. The pacer went on to dismiss Shan’s opening partner Seifert in the seventh over after the New Zealander had smashed five boundaries for 26 runs.

Karachi were deeper into trouble when Shoaib Malik miscued a skier off Imad Wasim’s left-arm spin in the eighth over as Shadab Khan took a brilliant catch. Mohammad Nawaz was next to go as the left-hander, succumbing to a rising bounder by Tymal Mills, found Munro at deep square-leg.

At the halfway stage, Karachi were reeling at 66-4 after Pollard got off the mark with a deft touch for four off Mills.

The former West Indies all-rounder put pressure back on Islamabad when he launched Shadab over deep midwicket for six in the 11th over before clearing the leg-spinner twice over long-off for maximums.

Watching Pollard from the other end, James Vince seemed like growing in confidence when he hit Mills for three consecutive boundaries in the 14th over, only to get caught behind on the fourth ball after adding 29 off 27 to the total.

Vince’s wicket suffocated the flow of runs once again and Pollard (39 off 28) succumbed to the pressure in the 18th over, becoming Hunain Shah’s first wicket. Karachi couldn’t fightback from that point and dragged themselves to what proved to be a paltry total.

POINTS TABLE

TEAMS M W L T N/R P NRR

Multan Sultans 8 6 2 0 0 12 0.967

Islamabad United 9 4 4 0 1 9 0.221

Quetta Gladiators 7 4 2 0 1 9 -0.094

Peshawar Zalmi 8 4 3 0 1 9 -0.384

Karachi Kings 8 3 5 0 0 6 -0.241

Lahore Qalandars 8 1 6 0 1 3 -0.682

SCOREBOARD

KARACHI KINGS:

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

Shan Masood c Imad b Faheem 10 12 1 0 83.33

Tim Seifert c Munro b Faheem 26 19 5 0 136.84

James Vince c Azam b Mills 29 27 5 0 107.40

Shoaib Malik c Shadab b Imad 1 6 0 0 16.66

Mohammad Nawaz c Munro b Mills 5 3 1 0 166.66

Kieron Pollard c Faheem b Hunain 39 28 3 3 139.28

Irfan Khan c Faheem b Mills 16 13 1 1 123.07

Hasan Ali not out 6 8 0 0 75.00

Mir Hamza not out 2 4 0 0 50.00

EXTRAS (LB-6, W-10) 16

TOTAL (for seven wickets, 20 overs) 150

DID NOT BAT: Zahid Mahmood, Blessing Muzarabani

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-34 (Shan), 2-43 (Seifert), 3-44 (Malik), 4-49 (Nawaz), 5-107 (Vince), 6-125 (Pollard), 7-142 (Irfan)

BOWLING: Forde 2-0-18-0, Hunain 4-0-36-1 (4w), Imad 4-0-18-1, Faheem 4-0-16-2, Mills 4-0-34-3 (2w), Shadab 2-0-22-0

ISLAMABAD UNITED:

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

Colin Munro c Shan b Hamza 9 11 2 0 81.81

Alex Hales b Hamza 18 13 2 1 138.46

Salman Ali Agha c Seifert b Muzarabani 33 30 1 1 110.00

Shadab Khan c Seifert b Hamza 34 26 4 0 130.76

Azam Khan c & b Zahid 9 8 1 0 112.50

Haider Ali not out 26 16 2 1 162.50

Faheem Ashraf not out 12 8 0 1 150.00

EXTRAS (LB-1, W-9) 10

TOTAL (for five wickets, 18.4 overs) 151

DID NOT BAT: Imad Wasim, Matthew Forde, Hunain Shah, Tymal Mills

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-28 (Munro), 2-39 (Hales), 3-97 (Salman), 4-111 (Azam), 5-115 (Shadab)

BOWLING: Hamza 4-0-41-3 (3w), Muzarabani 4-0-24-1, Hasan 3-0-20-0, Zahid 4-0-30-1 (1w), Nawaz 3-0-24-0

RESULT: Islamabad United won by five wickets.

PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Faheem Ashraf

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2024

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