Karachi beat Lahore to emerge PSL champions
Imad Wasim’s Kings edge past Qalandars by five wickets, in dramatic fashion, to inscribe their name on the coveted trophy.
On any other night, this would have been more than a sell-out. This was Pakistan’s blue-riband event, their very own derby, their ‘El Clasico.’ Much like derbies across the sporting sphere like cricket’s Ashes, the Manchester derby between United and City, the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, or East Bengal and Mohun Bagan’s storied rivalry at Salt Lake, the famed tussle between Karachi and Lahore, two of Pakistan’s biggest cities has its own special place among not just residents of both but well beyond.
But it took a while to come, at the fifth time of asking, and it was indeed a shame that there were no spectators to witness history in the making. A Karachi Kings-Lahore Qalandars final was one for the ages as both put up a fantastic show on Tuesday night.
At the National Stadium, the fortress of the Karachi Kings, Imad Wasim’s side edged past the Lahore Qalandars by five wickets, in dramatic fashion, to inscribe their name on the coveted Pakistan Super League (PSL) trophy.
After their bowlers kept the Qalandars down to 134 for seven, the batsman knocked off the runs with eight deliveries to spare.
It increased the Karachi Kings’ head-to-head tally over the Qalandars to seven wins in 11 matches, but this was the most important of them all.
And it was perhaps a fitting end to the campaign after their coach Dean Jones had passed away in September.
The Lahore Qalandars, meanwhile, will rue the fact that they made a hash of a strong start given by their openers Tamim Iqbal and Fakhar Zaman.
Finally, the CHAMPIONS of #HBLPSLV— Karachi Kings (@KarachiKingsARY) November 17, 2020
What a match, what a journey!!
Thank you so much guys for your love & support throughout this entire journey...
And, Deano this one is for you!!! #KarachiKings #YehHaiKarachi #PhirSeTayyarHain #KKvLQ #PSLFinal #DoItForDeano pic.twitter.com/RSP9CpYGdz
The duo had raced away to 68 in the first 10 overs but once domestic cricket veteran Umaid Asif removed them in quick succession, the Qalandars lost their way.
Pacers Waqas Maqsood and Arshad Iqbal were amongst the wickets, so too Wasim, as the Qalandars finished up with a score that was well below par. And if not for Shaheen Shah Afridi’s four-ball 12, they would have ended up with even lesser.
Bangladesh southpaw Iqbal held it together initially with 35 from 38 deliveries that contained four boundaries and a six, while Zaman cracked a 24-ball 27 with four fours. There were cameos in the middle and down the order but not enough to swell their total.
The Qalandars tried to make a fist of it while defending by bringing the equation down to a almost a run-a-ball and taking it to the very end but the calming influence of Babar Azam, Pakistan’s captain across all formats, saw the Kings home.
He struck his fifth fifty of the season and took them past the line with an unbeaten 63 from 49 deliveries, spiced up with seven boundaries. Wasim played a crucial hand too, towards the very end with a seven-ball unbeaten 10 with two fours after Haris Rauf had taken two wickets off successive balls to make things interesting.
Azam and West Indian Chadwick Walton’s shared a crucial third wicket stand that was worth 61 after the former had stitched together 23 and 26 with opening partner Sharjeel Khan and Alex Hales for the first and second wickets, respectively.
T Iqbal c I Ahmed b U Asif 35
F Zaman c I Ahmed b U Asif 27
M Hafeez c B Azam b I Wasim 2
B Dunk c B Azam b A Iqbal 11
S Patel c W Maqsood b A Iqbal 5
S Akhtar c Rutherford b W Maqsood 14
D Wiese not out 14
M Faizan c I Ahmed b W Maqsood 0
S Afridi not out 12
Extras (lb9, nb1, w4) 14
Total (7 wkts, 20 overs) 134
Fall of wickets: 1-68 (Tamim, 10.1 ov), 2-69 (Fakhar, 10.4 ov), 3-70 (Hafeez, 11.1 ov), 4-81 (Patel, 13.3 ov), 5-97 (Ben Dunk, 15.4 ov), 6-110 (Sohail, 18.1 ov), 7-118 (Faizan, 18.5 ov)
Bowling: I Wasim 2-0-6-1; M Amir 4-0-38-0; W Maqsood 4-0-18-2; AIqbal 4-0-26-2; U Asif 4-0-18-2; I Ahmed 2-0-19-0
S Khan c F Zaman b Patel 13
B Azam not out 63
A Hales b D Hussain 11
C Walton lbw b D Hussain 22
I Ahmed c Wiese b H Rauf 4
S Rutherford c S Akhtar b H Rauf 0
I Wasim not out 10
Extras (b1, lb2, nb1, w8) 12
Total (5 wkts, 18.4 overs) 135
Fall of wickets: 1-23 (Sharjeel, 3.1 ov), 2-49 (Hales, 6.5 ov), 3-110 (Walton, 15.1 ov), 4-124 (Iftikhar, 17.1 ov), 5-124 (Rutherford, 17.2 ov)
Bowling: S Afridi 3.4-0-31-0; H Rauf 4-0-30-2; S Patel 4-0-22-1; D Hussain 4-0-28-2; D Wiese 3-0-21-0
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