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Karachi Kings seal final playoff spot with last-gasp win

Karachi Kings seal final playoff spot with last-gasp win

DUBAI: Karachi Kings sealed the last available play-off place in the 2017 HBL Pakistan Super League here on Sunday night by virtue of a pulsating victory against holders Islamabad United by six wickets.

Kieron Pollard, Saturday’s mastermind behind the win over Lahore Qalandars with successive sixes on the last two balls of the match, appropriately struck the winning boundary on the penultimate delivery to set up another meeting with Islamabad in the second playoff, between teams finishing third and fourth, in Sharjah on Wednesday night.

Table-toppers Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators kick off the playoff round in Sharjah on Tuesday, with the winners qualifying straight into the March 5 and the losers awaiting winners of the Karachi-Islamabad match in Friday’s third playoff in Dubai.




After torrential rain had drenched the city for hours earlier in the day, the authorities worked feverishly to get the ground playable enough to get in a 15-over game, which finally began after a delay of 90 minutes.

Kumar Sangakkara won a crucial toss to give his side decisive advantage as Islamabad just couldn’t find the momentum going before they finished their truncated innings at 123-7 against disciplined bowling, chiefly from the three Karachi seamers who equally shared all six wickets falling to the bowlers.

Dwayne Smith reached 49 off 36 balls (seven fours and one six), but it took him ages to find the big shots. He finally perished attempting to smack Usman Khan Shinwari but found his West Indian colleague Kieron Pollard pouching a sensational catch on the run inches inside the boundary.

The magic figure for Karachi to eliminate Lahore out of the tournament was 111 in case they lost the match. But they were in much of a hurry to get the job done properly.

Chris Gayle, returning to the side after being left out on Saturday, led the onslaught with a blistering 44 from just 17 balls. The big left-hander bludgeoned two consecutive sixes of Mohammad Irfan and then smashed another three on the trot off Saeed Ajmal, besides striking two fours.

Emerging all-rounder Shadab Khan, however, was the standout performer in this last league fixture with superb return of 3-13, including wickets off his final two deliveries.

Final standings

(Tabulated under played, won, lost, no-result, points, net run-rate):

Peshawar Zalmi 8 4 3 1 9 +0.309

Quetta Gladiators 8 4 3 1 9 +0.166

Karachi Kings 8 4 4 0 8 -0.098

Islamabad United 8 4 4 0 8 -0.139

Lahore Qalandars 8 3 5 0 6 -0.223

Scoreboard

ISLAMABAD UNITED:

D.R. Smith c Pollard b Usman 49

B.M. Duckett c Pollard b Sohail 16

Hussain Talat run out 11

S.R. Watson c Pollard b Sohail 2

B.J. Haddin c Pollard b Usman 20

Shadab Khan c Malik b Amir 9

Misbah-ul-Haq c Gayle b Amir 12

Mohammad Sami not out 0

EXTRAS (B-1, LB-1, W-1, NB-1) 4

TOTAL (for seven wkts, 15 overs) 123

FALL OF WKTS: 1-37, 2-57, 3-61, 4-101, 5-101, 6-121, 7-123.

DID NOT BAT: Rumman Raees Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan.

BOWLING: Imad Wasim 3-0-20-0; Mohammad Amir 3-0-25-2; Sohail Khan 3-0-23-2; Usman Khan Shinwari 3-0-25-2 (1nb); Usama Mir 3-0-28-0 (1w).

KARACHI KINGS:

Babar Azam b Shadab 27

C.H. Gayle c Irfan b Ajmal 44

K.C. Sangakkara c Rumman b Shadab 10

Shoaib Malik c Haddin b Shadab 7

K.A. Pollard not out 20

R.S. Bopara not out 11

EXTRAS (LB-8, W-6) 8

TOTAL (for four wkts, 14.5 overs) 127

FALL OF WKTS: 1-64, 2-80, 3-92, 4-92.

DID NOT BAT: Imad Wasim, Sohail Khan, Usama Mir, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan Shinwari.

BOWLING: Mohammad Irfan 3-0-35-0 (2w); Mohammad Sami 3-0-25-0 (1w); Rumman Raees Khan 2.5-0-18-0 (1w); Saeed Ajmal 2-0-29-1; Shadab Khan 3-0-13-3 (1w); Watson 1-0-5-0.

RESULT: Karachi Kings won by six wickets.

UMPIRES: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and R.E.J. Martinesz (Sri Lanka).

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Chris Gayle.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2017

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