Karachi in final after Super Over win as PSL restarts
The match at Karachi’s National Stadium went into a Super Over after 40 overs ended with both teams tied on 141
After an eight-month lull, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) rolled into play in Karachi, Pakistan’s financial capital, on Saturday night.
And the circumstances were different, not least the setting as Pakistan’s very own T20 franchise league attempted to complete its fifth season, brought to a standstill because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The post-Covid era meant that the play-offs were being played behind closed doors at the National Stadium but it was not short of drama as the first fixture in over eight months produced a cracker with it going into the Super Over.
And the Karachi Kings, overcame the grief of losing their coach Dean Jones, who passed away in September, by edging past table toppers Multan Sultans in the Qualifier.
In a contest that ebbed and flowed, it all ended square after 40 overs with the Karachi Kings finishing up with 141, the same score as the Multan Sultans.
The Karachi Kings made 13 for two and pace ace Mohammad Amir went on to defend that as they won by five runs, to make it to their first-ever final.
Earlier, the Multan Sultans had to rely on Ravi Bopara to pull them out of the woods, with the Englishman making a 31-ball 40 with three boundaries and a six.
Karachi Kings’ response was led by Babar Azam, Pakistan’s newly-installed captain across all the formats, and who is second in the ICC T20 rankings. The opener conjured another one of those specials, coshing a 53-ball 65 that was peppered with five boundaries and two sixes as they made a run for home.
But the Sultans bowlers hit back and the Kings endured a collapse, losing four wickets for just six runs. And it took a crucial cameo from skipper Imad Wasim, who hit Mohammed Ilyas for a boundary, to push it into the Super Over.
After that heady finish, Wasim, who remained not out on 27 from 16 deliveries that had two fours and a six, dedicated the win to former Australian cricketer Dean Jones.
Jones, who previously led Islamabad United to the title in 2016 and 2018, suffered a heart attack during his IPL commentary stint in Mumbai, India, on September 24. He was signed up by the Karachi Kings last November and replaced South Africa Mickey Arthur.
“I want to dedicate this win to Dean Jones. If he was here, he would have been very happy. We’re going to play the final for Deano again,” Wasim said at the post-match presentation.
Just before start of play, players of both sides stood in the shape of a ‘D,’ with a cut-out of Jones in the middle, which had the words: “We miss you!” The giant screen displayed the words: “Forever in our hearts, Deano!”
Wasim also gave credit to the foreign players who turned up to complete the play-offs, especially in the backdrop of the pandemic.
“The local guys had played cricket for a while but the overseas guys most of them hadn’t played. Credit to them for coming here,” he added.
Azam, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, said that the nature of T20 was such that things can change very quickly.
“This is the beauty of T20, the match can change anytime. We thought we had it won, but until you finish the match, it’s not over,” said Azam.
“In the first innings it was a bit slow but in the second innings, the pitch was good for batting, with the ball coming on under the lights. Whatever cricket you play, you need to keep a positive mindset and know how to switch on. I try to do what’s best for the team,” he added.
And while the Karachi Kings wait to know their opponents in Tuesday’s final, the Sultans have another shot at it as they take on the winners of the match between Peshawar Zalmi and the Lahore Qalandars in the Eliminator 2 on Sunday.
Z Ashraf c Hales b I Wasim 21
A Lyth Walton b W Maqsood 9
S Masood run out (M Amir) 3
R Rossouw run out (Walton/A Iqbal) 5
R Bopara c I Ahmed b W Maqsood 40
K Shah c Rutherford b A Iqbal 17
S Afridi c Hales b A Iqbal 12
S Tanvir not out 25
M Ilyas not out 5
Extras (lb 4) 4
Total (7 wkts, 20 overs) 141
Fall of wickets: 1-19 (Lyth, 2.3 ov), 2-23 (Masood, 3.2 ov), 3-36 (Rossouw, 5.4 ov), 4-40 (Ashraf, 6.3 ov), 5-80 (Khushdil, 12.3 ov), 6-101 (Afridi, 16.3 ov), 7-111 (Bopara, 17.3 ov)
Bowling: I Wasim 2-0-11-1; M Amir 4-0-27-0; W Maqsood 4-0-26-2; A Iqbal 4-0-21-2; I Ahmed 2.6-0-17-0; W Parnell 3-0-35-0
S Khan c I Tahir b S Tanvir 4
B Azam c Z Ashraf b S Tanvir 65
A Hales run out (K Shah) 22
I Ahmed c S Masood b S Afridi 13
I Wasim not out 27
C Walton c Lyth b S Tanvir 2
S Rutherford c Z Ashraf b I Tahir 1
W Parnell run out (Bopara) 1
M Amir c Khushdil Shah b M Ilyas 1
W Maqsood not out 1
Extras (lb 1, w 3) 4
Total (8 wkts, 20 overs) 141
Fall of wickets: 1-19 (Sharjeel, 3.1 ov), 2-61 (Hales, 9.1 ov), 3-90 (Iftikhar, 12.5 ov), 4-117 (Babar, 16.3 ov), 5-119 (Walton, 16.5 ov), 6-122 (Rutherford, 17.4 ov), 7-123 (Parnell, 18.1 ov), 8-135 (Amir, 19.2 ov)
Bowling: A Lyth 1-0-4-0; S Tanvir 4-0-25-3; M Irfan 2-0-22-0; M Ilyas 4-0-29-1; I Tahir 4-0-22-1; K Shah 2-0-8-0; S Afridi 3-0-30-1
Match tied. Karachi Kings win in Super Over.
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