Sharjeel and Babar help Karachi rout Lahore by ten wickets - GulfToday

Sharjeel and Babar help Karachi rout Lahore by ten wickets

Karachi Kings

Sharjeel Khan (left) and Babar Azam walk back to pavilion after Karachi Kings’ win over Lahore Qalandars in a PSL match at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi March Thursday. Associated Press

Karachi Kings’ Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam played impressive innings to thrash Lahore Qalandars by 10 wickets in their PSL match at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on Thursday.

After winning the toss and opting to field, Karachi restricted Lahore to 150/5.

In chasing a moderate total, hosts achieved the target without any loss with 17 balls to spare.

Sharjeel scored unbeaten74 from 59 balls peppered with five fours and five sixes, whereas Babar’s 46-ball 69 was comprised of eight fours and one six.

Earlier, captain Sohail Akhtar hit 69 off 49 balls to give Lahore a rousing start but middle order collapsed cheaply.

Mohammad Hafeez scored an unbeaten 35 from 22 balls to steady the innings after Fakhar Zaman (17), Lynn (5) and Ben Dunk (9) lost their wickets.

Umaid Asif and Arshad Iqbal claimed two wickets each whereas Chris Jordan bagged one for Karachi.

Lahore, who have won four of their past five matches, ended their hopes of playoff with the defeat.

Meanwhile, Pakistan cricket authorities announced plans on Thursday to close public access to a series of upcoming domestic league matches in Karachi, making an abrupt u-turn as criticism mounted online of the country’s handling of the coronavirus.

The announcement came as a match had already started in the bustling commercial hub of 15 million, marking what would be the last Pakistan Super League (PSL) match held in front of a live audience this season in Karachi.

“Following developments in the past 24 hours, the (Pakistan cricket Board) has decided to take a proactive approach and put in place precautionary measures to better safeguard the health and safety of all those who will be involved in the upcoming matches,” said the governing body’s chief executive Wasim Khan.

Officials have yet to announce if several games including the league final set to be hosted in the eastern city of Lahore later this month will also be closed to the public.

Karachi was set to host five Twenty20 league games over the next six days at the national stadium, which can hold up to 30,000 spectators.

The decision comes as anxiety escalates globally about the potential for unchecked transmission of the virus at big sporting occasions.

Events around the world have been cancelled or postponed over the virus, including the suspension of NBA games in North America.

Social media users in Pakistan had earlier voiced concerns after authorities appeared set on continuing to host the Karachi matches despite a rise in coronavirus cases.

“Still trying to understand why PSL hasn’t been cancelled during a GLOBAL PANDEMIC,” tweeted Pakistani novelist Fatima Bhutto.

“World’s best sports events are cancelled but in Pakistan flight operations are still going on, PSL is still not banned... Where we’re headed?” added Twitter user Asim Siddiq.

However, officials insisted the situation was under control Wednesday.


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