KARACHI: Karachi Kings will have to wait longer to open their account in the HBL Pakistan Super League 8 as explosive knocks from Colin Munro and Azam Khan set a comfortable win for Islamabad United at the National Bank Cricket Arena on Thursday night.
Islamabad United chased 174 at the loss of six wickets and 10 balls spare in what was their first match of this edition. Munro smashed 58 at a scorching strike rate of 207.14 and Azam made 44 at 157.14. The two put together 56 runs in 31 balls.
Karachi Kings began well in the second innings as tight lines and lengths from Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Musa allowed only 13 runs and sent back Hasan Nawaz in the first three overs. The first signs of Islamabad United’s domination and Munro’s intentions came in the fifth over as the left-hander spanked Musa for three fours after he had thudded Paul Stirling’s pad with a yorker on the first ball.
Munro and Rassie van der Dussen, making his HBL PSL debut, attacked the Karachi Kings’ bowlers from that point – putting a match-defining 59-run stand on 31 balls.
Van der Dussen scored 31 off 25 and was bowled by Imad Wasim – most economical bowler on either side with the figures of one for 19 in four overs – in the 10th over that brought Azam to the crease. The wicketkeeper-batter spanked Musa for two fours and a six in the 12th over to ensure Islamabad United retained momentum.
He took on Musa once again, in the 16th over, after Munro was run out because of a mix-up, this time smoking him for three fours, but was caught at midwicket. By then, however, the match was settled as Islamabad United needed only 23 off 24.
It was all too easy for them in the end. Faheem Ashraf hit Amir for consecutive fours through backward point in the 18th over before an incredible one-handed catch diving to his right by Irfan Khan sent the left-hander back.
With two required off 11, Tom Curran clubbed Shoaib Malik for a gigantic six over long on to finish the proceedings.
There was a silver lining for Karachi Kings, however, as Haider Ali struck form with a scintillating 59 off 45, in which he hit seven fours and two sixes.
Haider put up a solid partnership of 77 for the second wicket with Sharjeel Khan, who made 34 off 26. As the partnership started to look threatening, Tom Curran removed Sharjeel and Karachi Kings lost next three wickets in quick succession with Mohammad Wasim Jnr accounting for Matthew Wade and Imad Wasim in consecutive balls.
Blows down the order from Shoaib (18 off 10), Muhammad Irfan Khan (19 off 11) and Andrew Tye (12 not out off five) took Karachi Kings to a respectable 173 for seven.
Three Islamabad United bowlers – Wasim Jnr (two for 38), Rumman Raees (two for 26) and Tom Curran (two for 42) – shared six wickets between them equally, while Faheem Ashraf bowled exceptionally well for his one for 25 in four overs.
Scores in brief:
Karachi Kings 173-7, 20 overs (Haider Ali 59, Sharjeel Khan 34; Rumman Raees 2-26, Mohammad Wasim Jnr 2-38, Tom Curran 2-42)
Islamabad United 178-6, 18.2 overs (Colin Munro 58, Azam Khan 44, Rassie van der Dussen 31; Mohammad Amir 2-30, Mohammad Musa 2-48)
Player of the match – Colin Munro (Islamabad United)