Karachi Kings reach their first-ever PSL final
Statesman Report
KARACHI: Karachi Kings powered into the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season five, after beating Multan Sultans in a thrilling super over on Saturday. Shane Rutherford and Sharjeel Khan were first up against Sohail Tanvir in the super over. Sharjeel’s torrid time in the match continued as he was dismissed on the third ball of the over with only three runs on the board. Rutherford provided impetus to Kings with a six and a four on the fourth and fifth delivery of the over to take Kings’ score to 13, before being dismissed on the final delivery. Left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir picked up the ball for Kings in the super over and executed perfected Yorkers to concede only three runs in the first three balls. Amir lost his line for a bit as he bowled two consecutive wides next. However, the left-arm pacer held his nerve and gave only four runs in the next three deliveries. Earlier, chasing a target of 142, Kings lost opener Sharjeel Khan early as he was brilliantly caught by Imran Tahir for 4. Babar then found an able ally in Alex Hales as both combined for a 42-run partnership. However, a freak run-out on the bowling of Khushdil Shah in the tenth over brought an end to Hales’ promising knock of 22 runs. Babar continued Kings’ surge towards the target as he brought up his fifty in 42 balls and surpassed Peshawar Zalmi’s Kamran Akmal record of having the most fifty-plus scores (13) in PSL history. Tanvir picked up the crucial wicket of Babar Azam (65) in the 17th over as Kings still needed 25 runs in 21 balls. Babar’s departure brought a flurry of wickets as Kings lost Chadwick Walton, Shane Rutherford and Wayne Parnell in the space of eight balls. With Kings still needing 19 runs in 11 balls, Kings captain Imad Wasim’s 27-run innings couldn’t take his team over the line but ensured a super over to decide the winner. Karachi Kings’ bowlers had earlier restricted Multan Sultans to 141/7 after winning the toss and electing to field first. Sultans’ were dealt an early blow as left-arm pacer Waqas Maqsood removed opener Adam Lyth for 9 in the third over of the innings. Lyth’s wicket was followed by two dismal run-outs, captain Shan Masood and middle-order batsman Rilee Rossouw, and a wicket of the other opener Zeeshan Ashraf (21), leaving Sultans reeling at 40 for 4 after 6.3 overs. All-rounder Ravi Bopara tried to resurrect the innings by building partnerships with Khushdil Shah (17) and Shahid Afridi (12). However, wickets continued to fall from the other end as Bopara held the fort for Sultans. Bopara was eventually dismissed after scoring 40 from 31 balls. Sultans needed a strong finish to reach a competitive total and all-rounder Sohail Tanvir responded with brisk 25-run knock from 13 balls, helping Sultans score 30 runs in the last 15 balls of the innings. For Kings, 19-year-old pacer Arshad Iqbal was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2/21 in four overs. For his valuable fifty, Babar Azam was declared player of the match.