PSL-Babar Azam
Babar Azam endured a poor outing with the bat in his first season as captain of Karachi Kings. Image Credit: Twitter

Lahore: Karachi Kings suffered their seventh defeat of the HBL Pakistan Super League and were knocked out of the title-race as Islamabad United beat them by a run in the 21st match of the T20 league on Monday night at Gadaffi stadium.

With this loss, the Babar Azam-led team created a record of successive seven defeats and remained pointless in the competition. Karachi Kings’ top order could not give a good start to the team again in the fate-decider against Islamabad United. A brilliant last over by Waqas Maqsood helped Islamabad score a victory as Kings needed eight runs to strike a win but just fell short.

Consecutive poor performances of Karachi batters, bowlers and especially captain Azam, who couldn’t fire in any match, led to a hreatbreak for their supporters. Even in the last match today against Islamabad, the skipper could score merely 13 off 9 balls.

Put into bat first, Rahmanullah Gurban and Alex Hales could not provide a perfect start and lost their first wicket on the fifth ball of the very first over. Muhammad Akhlaq joined Hales but he lost his wicket early and was dismissed for just two. Captain Shadab Khan joined Hales and produced 43 runs for Islamabad. Hales made 25 runs, with three sixes and one four while Shadab Khan slammed 34 runs that consisted of three fours and one six. Azam Khan played his part by scoring 22 runs.

Chasing the target, Azam began the innings with left-hander Sharjeel Khan but the captain himself was outclassed by debutant Zeeshan Zameer. Coming to the crease, wicketkeeper Joe Clarke went for a duck. Sahibzada Farhan joined Sharjeel Khan on the wicket in order to complete the target given by United.

The 59-run partnership ended up when Waqas Mehmood snapped up the wicket of Sahibzada Farhan. The heroics of Imad Wasim and Qasim Akram later was wasted when hero of the day Waqas helped Islamabad record a thrilling victory. Asif Ali emerged as Player of the Match with his allround performance as he struck 28 runs and bagged two important wickets (2-27).