Dubai: Islamabad United defeated Karachi Kings in a last-over thriller, riding on Asif Ali’s splendid knock of 70 runs off just 38 balls with five fours and six sixes.
Karachi Kings had posted a challenging 168 for 8 in 20 overs through Babar Azam’s 68 runs off 50 balls with ten boundaries and Liam Livingstone’s 56 off 31 balls with five boundaries and four sixes.
Asif got good support in the chase from Philip Salt who scored 46 off 38 balls to take Islamabad to the target with four balls to spare.
Islamabad won the toss and elected to field. Karachi openers Azam and Colin Munro put on 23 runs in 2.2 overs when Munro got caught by Asif Ali at short mid-wicket off Rumman Raees for 4.
Livingstone and Azam put on 50 runs in 30 balls. Playing quicker than Azam, Livingstone reached his half century in 29 balls. At the half way mark, Karachi were 95 for 1. The first ball of the 11th overm he hit Shadab Khan for a six over mid-wicket but fell to the next ball offering a catch to Amad Butt at backward point for 56.
Colin Ingram joined Azam and maintained the run flow. Azam reached his half century in 36 balls by hitting Faheem Ashraf for a boundary past point. He hit the next ball to four a boundary to fine leg. Ingram and Azam put on 32 runs in 4.3 overs when Raees struck again to remove Ingram, caught by Amad Butt, at deep point for 13. With five more overs to go, Karachi were 134 for 3.
In the 18th over Ben Dunk got run out by Shadab from mid-off for 12. Skipper Imad Wasim lasted by three balls to score two runs before being bowled by Raees.
In the 19th over, Faheen Ashraf ended Azam’s fine knock by having him caught at point by Raees for 68. In the last over, Amad Butt clean bowled Aamer Yamin for 3 while Mohammad Amir got run out off the last ball for 6. In the last three overs, Karachi added just 15 runs and lost five wickets.
Chasing the target, Islamabad lost an early wicket when opener Cameron Delport fell to the fourth ball of the first over Imad Wasim for a duck when he mistimed his shot into the hands of Ingram at mid-off. Umer Khan picked the prize wicket of Luke Ronchi in the seventh over having him caught at long off by Ingram for 26. Philip Salt and Ronchi had put on 43 runs for the second wicket. In the same over, Umer had Hussain Talat stumped by wicketkeeper Dunk for 1.
Asif pulled Usam Shinwari for a six. In the 10th over, Asif on 13, got dropped by Mohammad Rizwan off Yamin. Islamabad needed 100 runs in the last ten overs. Asif hit Umer for a six in the 13th over while Salt hit Yamin for two consecutive boundaries in the 14th over. In the 15th over, Asif pulled Shenwari for a six and reached his half century in 30 balls. In the last five overs, Islamabad needed 48 runs. Asif hit Munro for a boundary and two consecutive sixes to lessen the required run rate.
Mohammad Amir ended Asif’s knock by having Asif caught by Imad Wasim at mid-off for 70.
In the last three overs, Islamabad needed 23 runs only. In the 18th over Shinwari dismissed Salt, who was batting smoothly, for 46. At this stage, Islamabad needed 17 runs off 15 balls and Faheen Ashraf and Shadab Khan took the team to the target with Shadab hitting the second ball of the last over for a six.
Islamabad United bt Karachi Kings by 5 wkts. Karachi Kings 168 for 8 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 68, Liam Livingstone 56, Rumman Raees 3 for 27) Islamabad United 169 for 5 in 19.2 overs (Luke Ronchi 26, Philip Salt 46, Asif Ali 70, Umer Khan 2 for 29) Man of the match: Asif Ali