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2nd Play-off Match Report: Islamabad United Vs Karachi Kings

Sami dazzles Karachi Kings to eliminate them from the competition

It was time for the second playoff in the HBLPSL between Islamabad United and Karachi Kings, with the winner from this game playing Peshawar Zalmi for a place in the final. United won the toss and elected to field first against the Kings’ whose batsmen have been a little inconsistent during this tournament. Things got off to a really slow start for the batting side as they could only manage to score 2 runs from the first two overs.

Lendl Simmons kicked up his gear and dispatched Mohammad Irfan for boundaries all over the ground, scoring 18 runs from the third over. That was perhaps the only time during the first ten overs that Karachi’s batting looked to be in control because it all fell apart afterwards. Sami bowled out Riki Wessels in the fourth over with a fuller delivery, while Simmons followed in the next over as he was caught and bowled by Andre Russell.

Karachi just could not get going at all as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Shoaib Malik was caught behind for a duck off Irfan’s bowling and Iftikhar Ahmed’s troubled stay in the middle also came to an end courtesy Samuel Badree. Karachi Kings were a miserable 45/4 after the first ten overs.

Karachi’s new captain Ravi Bopara, who has been sensational in this tournament with both bat and ball was joined by Ryan Ten Doeschate in the middle. Both batsmen finally got a little partnership going but none of them could pile any pressure on United’s bowlers. They kept wickets intact for a while but could not pick up the run rate. The bowling attack was spearheaded by Sami, who bowled superbly and dismissed the dangerous Bopara (37 from 36 balls) with Dwayne Smith taking a brilliant catch at deep square leg.

Doeschate departed a ball later, with United firmly in control as Karachi were 89/6 after 17 overs. Sami struck back in his last over to dismiss Imad Wasim and Usama Mir in successive deliveries, getting to his five wicket haul and ending with phenomenal bowling figures of 4-0-8-5! He singlehandedly tore apart Karachi’s batting lineup, and they could only manage a disappointing 111/9, which was the lowest total of the tournament.

Dwayne Smith and Sharjeel Khan opened the innings for Islamabad, knowing that they only needed to keep wickets in hand. Amir started off with a great first over, only conceding 1 run. Smith freed his arms in the next over and dispatched Sohail Khan for two boundaries. Karachi got their much needed early wicket as Sharjeel flicked one off his legs towards the man at short mid wicket off Sohail Khan’s bowling.

Brad Haddin was next in for United, and he built on his good form in this tournament with some solid batting. Smith and Haddin got a partnership flowing and went after the spinners. Haddin was especially impressive and played some exquisite shots, timing the ball really well. Karachi Kings needed a miracle to rescue this match, with Islamabad looking comfortable at 81/1 after the first ten overs.

Smith and Haddin batted with ease and looked eager to finish the match off early. Haddin raced to his half century in only 27 deliveries, as he continues to enjoy his time in the HBL PSL. Dwayne Smith also reached his half century with a spectacular boundary to finish the match off in style as Islamabad United capped off a comfortable victory by 9 wickets with five overs to spare.

Karachi is out of the tournament, while Peshawar will face Islamabad tomorrow to see who makes it to the final. Islamabad United seem to be peaking at the right time, should be an exciting match tomorrow.

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