Dubai: Karachi Kings opener Sharjeel Khan is on the path from shame to fame again. This left-handed hard-hitting opening batsman, who was banned in 2017 for his involvement in spot fixing during the second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), announced that he is back in form through an unbeaten 74 to steer Karachi to an empathic 10-wicket win over Lahore Qalandars in the 26th match of the PSL at the National Stadium Karachi on Thursday night.
Sharjeel, along with his in-form partner Babar Azam (69 n.o), chased Lahore’s total of 150-5 in 20 overs without getting separated. They ensured the victory in 17.1 overs.
Khan, who used to play in UAE’s domestic tournaments for Phoenix Medicines and once won a KIA Picanto car by emerging as the man of the series in the Superstars Twenty20 tournament organised by Dubai Cricket Council, got involved in the spot-fixing scandal. His last international cricket innings for Pakistan in 2017 was a knock of 79 runs against Australia at Adelaide in an ODI match.
Put into bat by Karachi, Lahore openers Fakhar Zaman and skipper Sohail Akhtar put on 49 runs in 6 overs. Zaman got bowled by Umaid Asif but Akhtar went on to hit 68 runs off 49 balls. The experienced Mohammad Hafeez hit an unbeaten 35.
Chasing the target, Khan’s knock came off 59 balls with five boundaries and five sixes while Azam’s innings off 46 balls had eight boundaries and one six. They ensured the victory with 17 balls to spare through their unbroken 151 runs partnership.
Speaking after the match, Khan said: “It was indeed tough to comeback because in cricket it is toughest to stage a comeback. I am thankful to coach Dean Jones, Wasim (Akram) bhai and captain Imad Wasim for their support. I hope the confidence from this knock can carry me a long way ahead and would love to play big innings in the coming matches. To be away from the game for three years wasn’t easy but I will focus on the present and try and play good knocks.”
The victory has helped Karachi jump to second spot in points table with Lahore on fourth spot.
Karachi Kings bt Lahore Qalandars by 10 wkts
Lahore 150 for 5 in 20 overs (Sohail Akhtar 68, Mohammed Hafeez 35n.o; Arshad Iqbal 2 for 15, Umaid Asif 2 for 34)
Karachi 151 for no loss in 17.1 overs (Sharjeel Khan 74n.o, Babar Azam 69n.o)
Man of the match: Sharjeel Khan