Dubai: Multan Sultans finished on top of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) table will now take on fourth placed Peshawar Zalmi in the first semi-final on Tuesday, while second placed Karachi Kings meet Lahore Qalandars in the second semi-final. Both the matches will be held at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
The final four were decided after the Quetta Gladiators match against Karachi on Sunday night at the National Stadium in Karachi. Despite defending champions Quetta defeating Karachi by five wickets, they could not clinch a place among the last four. Quetta had restricted Karachi to 150-5 in 20 overs but they needed to reach the target in 3.2 overs if they had to displace Peshawar for the fourth spot on run rate, despite they finishing with nine points, the same as Peshawar’s tally. It took Quetta 16.2 overs to reach the target.
Islamabad United, who have Pakistan team’s head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq as coach, finished last in the table with only seven points losing six of their 10 matches.
Karachi had rested their key players including captain Imad Wasim, strike bowlers Umad Asif, Chris Jordan, and Mohammad Amir. Opener Babar Azam, who captained the Karachi team, hit 32 runs despite losing his in-form partner Sharjeel Khan for a duck. Azam put on 42 runs for the third wicket with top scorer Cameron Delport with 62 runs. Chadwick Walton too chipped in with 26 runs.
Chasing the target, Quetta lost their opener Ahmad Shehzad for a duck. Opener Shane Watson and one-drop batsman Khurram Mansoor, tore apart the Karachi attack. Watson hit 66 runs off just 34 balls with seven boundaries and four sixes while Mansoor scored 63 off 40 balls with nine boundaries and one six. Together they put on a 117 runs partnership for the second wicket. Though Quetta skipper fell for 2, Azam Khan (12n.o) ensured the victory with 22 balls to spare.
Speaking after receiving the man of the match award, Watson said: “The PSL have always been a special tournament for me. The love and support I have received from the people have been incredible and that could be the reason why I always had enormous success in this tournament. Though I scored well towards the end I should have scored equally well in the middle stage of the tournament too.”
Quetta Gladiators bt Karachi Kings by 5 wkts
Karachi 150-5 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 32, Iftikhar Ahmed 21, Cameron Delport 62, Chadwick Walton 26, Naseem Shah 2 for 17)
Quetta 154-5 in 16.2 overs (Shane Watson 66, Khurram Manzoor 63, Waqas Maqsood 2 for 19, Arshad Iqbal 2 for 37) Man of the match: Shane Watson.
Fixtures at Lahore: (UAE time)
March 17: Multan Sultans vs Peshawar Zalmi, 1pm
Karachi Kings vs Lahore Qalandars, 5pm
March 18: Final, 5pm