Sunday Mar 10, 2019
KARACHI: Usman Shinwari took three wickets for only three runs in the final over to propel Karachi Kings to the playoffs with a one-run victory against Quetta Gladiators in Sunday's last-ball thriller at the National Stadium.
The last over drama sent Ahmed Shehzad's 99 runs in vain, after at one point in the game it was very much understood that the opener had finally played a match-winning knock to chase down Karachi's total of 190. But a reckless shot to mid off on the second ball of the last over was all it took to turn the tables on what would have been a win for Quetta.
Who knew that it would be the turning point? The match which appeared to be going in Quetta's favour all-out changed drastically.
Call it destiny, lack of skills, pressure - but the night belonged to Karachi Kings and Usman Khan Shinwari.
Soon after Shehzad's dismissal on 99, on the very next ball Anwar Ali was dismissed unceremoniously. But the final nail in the coffin was when on the next ball skipper Sarfraz Ahmed saw his stumps fly.
Sohail Tanveer came on the crease to play the final ball of the innings, when three runs were required. He managed to contribute just one with a leg bye.
Spinner Umer Khan earlier took three wickets to dismiss Quetta's top order.
Karachi's win eliminated Lahore Qalandars from the tournament, for the fourth time in as many seasons. Multan Sultans were eliminated earlier. Quetta Gladiators, Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United and Karachi Kings are through to the playoffs.
A cracking half-century by Babar Azam and an unbeaten 46 by Iftikhar Ahmed lifted Karachi Kings to 190-5 earlier.
All credit to the Quetta Gladiators' bowling unit which unlike Lahore Qalandars did not leak massive runs in the stadium being criticised for having short boundaries.
Mohammad Hasnain remained the star bowler for the Gladiators, with his two fine wickets of Azam and Colin Ingram off 38 runs.
Fawad Ahmed, Muhammad Nawaz and Sohail Tanveer picked one wicket each.