Saturday Mar 17, 2018
SHARJAH: Karachi Kings qualified to play the Pakistan Super League's playoff round after smashing down Islamabad United by six wickets on Friday.
Kings will play Islamabad United again in the qualifier match on Sunday. The winner goes through to the final, while the loser gets a second chance and plays the winner of the first eliminator between Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiator.
Multan Sultans, who many considered favourites at the start of the tournament as they were on top of the league standings at the halfway mark, were unable to qualify for the second-leg of the tournament as Karachi Kings edged ahead with the victory on Friday.
Courtesy a four-wicket haul by Usman Khan Shinwari, the Morgan-led team restricted Islamabad United to 124 runs. The fast bowler bagged the wickets of JP Duminy, Faheem Ashraf, Zafar Gohar and Steven Finn.
Shinwari was given the Man of the Match award for his four-wicket haul.
The fast bowler was well-assisted by leg-spinner Shahid Afridi, who picked up two wickets in the match, finishing with figures of 4-1-18-2 after bowling out skipper United Misbah (19) and Walton (21) to leave Islamabad looking clueless after a shaky start.
Kings opted to play safe in the match as the batsmen chose not to attempt high-risk shots.
The early breakthrough for United came with the wicket of opener Khurram Manzoor (15) by fast bowler Steven Finn.
In-form batsman Joe Denly played a fiery innings of 36 runs off 28 balls, including six fours and one six at a strike rate of 128.57, before he was dismissed by Faheem Ashraf, the leading wicket-taker in the current edition of the PSL.
Shadab Khan ended skipper Morgan's innings, who managed to contribute only two runs.
But middle-order batsmen Babar Azam and CA Ingram's 53-run partnership neutralised the United bowling attack to easily take Kings home.
Fast bowlers Usman Khan Shinwari and Mohammad Irfan Jr gave an early break to Karachi by dismissing openers JP Duminy and Alex Hales.
Duminy was trapped lbw by Usman at 4, and Irfan caught and bowled Hales for 11. Hussain Talat, despite an impressive run this tournament, could only manage 1 before he was removed by Irfan.
Asif Ali tried to break the pressure by scoring 34 off 14, but his resistance was ended by Tymal Mills.
Mohammad Amir dismissed Shadab Khan at 8, as Islamabad slumped to 105-7.
Islamabad made three changes tonight with Luke Ronchi rested, Chadwick Walton in, Zafar Gohar in place of Samit Patel and Steven Finn in for Mohammad Sami.