Hasan Ali (L) celebrates after bowled to Ian Cockbain (R) during the PSL match at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi. AFP
Host Karachi, led by Pakistan T20 captain Babar Azam, will go to Lahore next week for the final leg of the PSL without a point. Another defeat will put the team on the brink of elimination.
Islamabad skipper Shadab Khan, who won the toss and opted to bat first, continued his brilliant all-round form and raised his wickets tally to 14. Shadab picked up 4-15 through his sharp legspin bowling that restricted Karachi to 135-9 in its unimpressive chase.
Paul Stirling plays a shot during the PSL match between Karachi Kings and Islamabad United. AFP
Earlier, Islamabad’s seasoned Twenty20 top order made 177-6 on a slow and dry wicket with Paul Stirling hitting 39 upfront in his last PSL game this season and Shadab scoring 34 off 19 balls.
Stirling will be going back to Ireland for national duty. The opener scored 187 runs in five PSL games that pushed Islamabad to No. 2 in the standings, four points behind Multan Sultans. Babar said his team needed more confidence.
"Unfortunately, we have lost all games so far, (but) I will try to give the boys more confidence going ahead,” said Babar, who took three splendid catches in an otherwise below-par performance by his teammates. "I think we leaked some extra runs, but I still felt that it was a chaseable total.”
Injury-hit Karachi has struggled to challenge oppositions at home as their key fast bowler Mohammad Amir was ruled out from the tournament without playing a game.
English bowler Chris Jordan (2-36) picked up two late wickets in his first game - both catches by Babar - to dismiss Shadab and Colin Munro (33) before Azam Khan played a cameo of 16 off just 7 balls to lift Islamabad's total.
Mohammad Nabi (L) celebrates with Babar Azam (R) after dismissal of Paul Stirling (unseen). AFP
Karachi always seemed to struggle once it lost Babar (8) and Sharjeel Khan (6) inside the batting powerplay. Sharjeel was run out in a mix-up with his skipper while fast bowler Mohammad Wasim knocked back the off stump of Babar in the fifth over.
Shadab then ran through the middle-order with his sharp googlies and legspinners before Mohammad Nabi resisted with an unbeaten 47 off 28 balls.
The toss didn’t go in favour of Karachi skipper Babar Zaman for the third successive game and his team, despite Sharjeel Khan’s 60, was restricted to 170-7 in its 20 overs.
Peshawar Zalmi put the United to bat first, who scored 174 for the loss of nine wickets and set a 175-run target for the Wahab Riaz-led side. Hasan Ali’s start with the ball was not as effective as his batting in the first innings — where he hit 45 off 16 balls.
Defending 12 in the last over, the 20-year-old Zaman gave away just three runs off the first four balls before hard-hitting batter Asif Ali holed out at long off for 15 off the fifth delivery as Islamabad finished at 166-5.
The 22-year-old former England under-19 captain plundered 10 fours and five sixes in his unbeaten 102 off 49 balls and lifted Lahore from a precarious 12-3 to its total of 197-6 after captain Shaheen Shah Afridi won the toss and chose to bat.
The strategic partnership strengthens both parties’ commitment to supporting the nation’s athletes, broadening the sports horizons, and enhancing the country’s leadership position globally.
Same views were echoed by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who added: “Our data shows we have fans coming in from 59 countries for these games. This continues the notion of promoting Abu Dhabi as a hub for great sporting events.
Mohammad Rizwan underlined why he will be a key weapon for Pakistan at the Twenty20 World Cup, top-scoring in a 21-run win over Bangladesh in Christchurch on Friday.
Qatar has ordered most government employees to work from home during next month's soccer World Cup while schools will have reduced hours two weeks before the tournament before shutting as the country prepares for a big influx of visitors.