Cricbuzz Staff •
(File photo) Shahid Afridi rattled Qalandars’ top-order to put them off the course in chase © Getty
Shahid Afridi (3 for 19) and Usman Khan (3 for 26) put on fine bowling performances as Karachi Kings overcame Lahore Qalandars to record their third successive victory in PSL 2018. The troika of Tymal Mills, Mohammad Irfan Jnr and Imad Wasim chipped in with wickets too as Qalandars failed to make use of the start that Brendon McCullum gave them in chase. The 27-run loss was Qalandars’ third on the bounce.
Despite Sunil Narine’s second-ball exit, Qalandars were flying in chase through a blazing stand between McCullum and Fakhar Zaman that fetched them 69 runs in the 38 balls following the fall of the first wicket. However, once Afridi broke the stand by dismissing Zaman, there was a brief procession. Qalandars went from 70 for 1 to 91 for 5 in the space of 22 balls.
There was a mini-resurrection before Usman arrived and lapped up Afridi’s efforts to make frequent inroads once again. Karachi Kings were also phenomenal on the field, Joe Denly in particular, who took two sharp catches at backward point.
There was no lower-order fight as the team folded for 132 in the 19th over, with seven batsmen in all, falling for single-digit scores. Before the bowlers could take Karachi Kings over the line, it was Ravi Bopara’s rescue act that took them to a respectable total in the first innings. The Kings had batting trouble of their own as Khurram Manzoor and Babar Azam fell without making an impact.
Despite Denly and Colin Ingram’s efforts, Kings were reduced to 90 for 5 in the 14th over. A vital 20-run partnership between Bopara and Imad Wasim took the team past 100 runs. Afridi couldn’t offer the sort of impetus he would’ve been expected to late in the innings, but Mohammad Irfan Jnr scored valuable 16 runs off just 12 balls to push the team ahead. Bopara eventually finished unbeaten on a 34-ball 50 – laced with two fours and two sixes – as the Kings posted a total in excess of 150 and defended it admirably.
Brief Scores: Karachi Kings 159/7 in 20 overs (Ravi Bopara 50; Sunil Narine 2-18) beat Lahore Qalandars 132 in 18.3 overs (Brendon McCullum 44; Shahid Afridi 3-19, Usman Khan 3-26) by 27 runs