PSL 2019: Agony for Shehzad as Shinwari drags Karachi to the play-off in sensational style

Waseem Ahmed 21:55 10/03/2019
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Ahmed Shehzad fell on 99. Image - @thePSLt20/Twitter.

Usman Shinwari delivered a sensational final over as Karachi Kings hung on for a one-run win over Quetta Gladiators to book the final play-off berth in the 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL).

In front of a packed house at the National Stadium in Karachi, Ahmed Shezhad almost single-handedly dragged Quetta to a win with a sublime 99 but Shinwari picked up three wickets in a sensational final over to pull off a great escape for the Kings.

Chasing 191 for victory, Quetta got off to an excellent start with the bat with openers Ahmed Shehzad and Shane Watson adding 66 runs in the powerplay without any damage.

Umer Khan brought Karachi roaring back into the match with the young spinner adding Watson and Rilee Rossouw to the collection of illustrious batsmen he has dismissed in the tournament.

Shehzad and Umar Akmal were then starting to forge a promising stand with the former going on to register his third consecutive fifty for Quetta with a huge six off Sohail Khan. However, the brilliant Umer brought Karachi back into the game once again with the crucial wicket of Akmal (27) in his final over.

With 56 runs required off 30 deliveries, Shehzad turned the tide with three sixes off the 16th over bowled by Usman Shinwari. Despite Dwayne Bravo failing to score off four consecutive deliveries in the next over, Shehzad kept his nerve to take Quetta to the verge of a win before Usman Shinwari introduced another late twist in the tale.

With just four runs more needed for a Quetta win, Shinwari dismissed Shehzad on 99 before removing Anwar Ali with the next delivery. Sarfraz Ahmed was dismissed for a duck two deliveries later to bring down the equation to three required off the last ball.

Sohail Tanvir could only sneak in a leg-bye off the final delivery as Shinwari lead Karachi sensationally to the play-off from the verge of defeat.

Earlier, having been made to bat first by Quetta skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, Karachi openers Babar Azam and Colin Munro started in watchful fashion to put on a 69-run stand in nine overs. Munro’s 30-run stay was cut short by leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed before Mohammad Nawaz sent back danger man Liam Livingstone.

Babar continued to march on and registered his third half-century of the campaign as Karachi’s batsmen turned the screws in the final 10 overs. An entertaining 10-ball 24 from Colin Ingram and a brief cameo from Ben Dunk helped Karachi to press on before Iftikhar Ahmed came out to play a blinder of an innings in the death overs.

The all-rounder smashed an unbeaten 44 runs off just 18 deliveries with the help of two sixes and five boundaries to help Karachi post a daunting total of 190-5. 120 runs came off the final 10 overs of the innings for the Kings with the last five overs fetching 65 runs.

Karachi now join Quetta, Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United in the play-off with Lahore Qalandars’ eliminated from the running.

BRIEF SCORES

Karachi Kings: 190-5

Babar Azam: 56 (46)

Iftikhar Ahmed: 44 not out (18)

Mohammad Hasnain: 2-36

Quetta Gladiators: 189-7

Ahmed Shehzad: 99 (57)

Umer Khan: 3-26

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