KARACHI - Careless batting and dropped catches cost Karachi Kings dearly, as holders Islamabad United took full advantage to beat Karachi Kings by 4 wickets in the first eliminator of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019 played here at National Stadium Karachi on late Thursday night.

It was, as expected, massive crowd present in and outside the stadium, as all the ways leading towards stadium were witnessing huge queues of spectators, who started to turn up for the massive encounter around two hours prior to the actual match time to ensure smooth entrance to the destination. They were present at the stadium to support their respective teams, surprisingly the city boys, who had represented Karachi in domestic cricket, were representing United and Islamabad Region players were leading the Kings.

It was highly electrifying match of the entire PSL-4 till date, as every eye was on Karachi Kings to repeat the same feet of two years back, when they had eliminated the holders United and things were looking quite bright for the local crowd favorites, as Kings got off to a breath-taking start.

Kiwi Munro and Babar Azam provided Kings a dream start as they smashed all the United bowlers at will. It was 50 on the board with only fourth over in progress. But after hitting the six to young M Musa, Munro tried to repeat the same on the very next delivery and gave a simple catch to wicketkeeper Ronchi. By that time, Kings had were at 52 in 3.3 overs. Despite losing Munro, Kings still managed to post splendid 78 in first 6 overs.

Kings were in supreme control as they scored 100 in the 10th over and were looking all set to post 200 plus target. But the things started taking unprecedented turn as first it was Livingstone, who was removed at 102 in 10.3 overs and then wickets started trembling. For this, Kings batsmen were only to blame for, as it wasn’t extraordinary United bowling but irresponsible batting which led to the downfall of Kings.

After Colin Ingram’s 23, all the Kings batsmen failed to carry forward the good work and kept on gifting their wickets. Kings owner Salman Iqbal, coach Mickey Arthur and President Wasim Akram were looking in disbelief as they were finding it really difficult to absolve as KK could score 161-9 in the allotted overs. Muhammad Musa provided precious breakthroughs to United as he removed Munro, Ingram and Iftikhar in his spell of 4 overs conceding 42 runs, while Faheem Ashraf took 2 for 30 and Shadab Khan 1 for 26.

Chasing a modest target, United were soon in trouble, as dangerous Luke Ronchi could score only 5. Englishman Alex Hales, who had joined the United squad only a night back, batted with great responsibility and contributed significant 41 runs in his team’s total, as United managed to hold onto wickets for the final push.

Delport added 38, Hussian Talat 32 and Faheem Ashraf quick-fire 17. Kings were still in the game, as United required 18 runs off 12 balls. Then came the defining moment of the match, when Asif tried to hit the ball out of the park and it was a skier, which was dropped by Babar Azam.

United never required any second invitation, as Asif accepted the gift and helped United ease past Kings with three deliveries to spare losing 6 wickets. Asif remained unbeaten after scoring 24. Left-arm spinner Umer Khan bowled brilliantly and bagged 2 wickets for 16, while Aamer Yamin took 2 for 27. Alex Hales was named player of the match.

Scorecard

KARACHI KINGS:

Babar Azam c Ronchi b Rumman 42

C Munro c Ronchi b Musa 32

L Livingstone c Faheem b Shadab 30

CA Ingram c Asif b Musa 23

B Dunk c Hales b Faheem 12

Iftikhar Ahmed c Hussain b Musa 1

Imad Wasim not out 13

Aamer Yamin run out 1

M Amir run out 3

Umer Khan b Faheem 0

Usman Shinwari not out 1

EXTRAS: (lb1, nb1, w1) 3

TOTAL: (9 wkts; 20 overs) 161

FOW: 1-52, 2-102, 3-108, 4-139, 5-141, 6-144, 7-151, 8-158, 9-158

BOWLING: M Sami 4-0-32-0, Rumman Raees 4-0-30-1, Faheem Ashraf 4-0-30-2, M Musa 4-0-42-3, Shadab Khan 4-0-26-1

ISLAMABAD UNITED:

L Ronchi c Babar b Yamin 5

C Delport c Babar b Umer 38

A Hales c Babar b Yamin 41

C Walton c Dunk b Umer 0

Hussain Talat c Babar b Shinwari 32

Asif Ali not out 24

Faheem Ashraf c Yamin b Amir 17

Shadab Khan not out 0

EXTRAS: (w7) 7

TOTAL: (6 wkts; 19.3 overs) 164

FOW: 1-19, 2-63, 3-63, 4-114, 5-129, 6-160

BOWLING: Imad Wasim 4-0-34-0, M Amir 3.3-0-35-1, Aamer Yamin 4-0-27-2, Usman Shinwari 3-0-42-1, Umer Khan 4-0-16-2, Iftikhar Ahmed 1-0-10-0

TOSS: Karachi Kings

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Alex Hales

UMPIRES: Shozab Raza, Michael Gough

TV UMPIRE: Rashid Riaz

MATCH REFEREE: Mohammed Anees