DUBAI: Majestic Colin Ingram single-handedly guided Karachi Kings to their second victory in the Pakistan Super League-4, as Quetta Gladiators suffered their first defeat at Sharjah Stadium on late Sunday night.
Ingram’s swash-buckling knock was more than enough to ensure Karachi Kings back on winning ways and bring smile back to the faces of not only the owners, but also to the coaches, captain and fans. Ingram won the hearts and minds of not only KK fans, but it was clearly witnessed that even Gladiators section of the thin crowd was not only clapping and cheering for his breathtaking knock, after losing two early wickets and only 4 runs on the board.
Things were looking highly grim for Imad Wasim, who failed to lead star-studded Karachi Kings, the way it was expected of him, as KK had lost 3 out of 4 they had played so far prior to facing the table-topers Gladiators. Chasing 187 runs for victory, KK were soon in trouble, as man-in-form Babar Azam was back in the pavilion without disturbing the scorers and Monro soon joined him, as KK were in tatters, losing 2 wickets with just 4 runs on the board and it was 3 for 57, as misfiring Awais Zia was back to the pavilion.
Ingram showed his class and proved that why the South African was ratted so highly amongst his peers. The dashing left-handed batsman hammered 12 boundaries and 8 sixes in his unbeaten 59-ball 127, which was more than enough to break Sharjeel Khan’s record of 117. It was a treat to watch Ingram smashing all the Gladiators bowlers at will.
Ingram deserves all the credit, as none of the KK batsmen could even contribute handful runs. The wickets kept on falling at other hand, but Ingram was not bothered as he continued to not only score runs, but also kept run-rate under check. Despite chasing a huge total, it was Ingram, who made the total look very easy, as KK reached home with 8 balls to spare losing 4 wickets. It was a morale-boosting victory for KK. In the second stage of the event, Sohail Tanvir was the pick of Gladiator bowlers with 2 wickets for 21.
It was highly disappointing that the PSB has deputed an army of officials in UAE, but they failed to use commonsense and kept on sitting on the passes, which resulted in highly thin attendance in the stadium.
The PCB chairman must wake up from deep slump and pass on directives to joy-riders to distribute passes to laymen so that the players may witness some spectators.
One thing is understood that the PCB and franchises wont earn much from gate-money. Sharjah stadium is well-known for pulling huge crowds and even on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the crowd was highly disappointing and needs PCB’s immediate attention, or else PSL-4 success will remain a huge question mark. On the other hand, it is high time for KK management to decide about the fate of their skipper Imad, who is looking under enormous pressure and completely failed to cope with the situation.
Earlier, KK skipper Imad Wasim won the toss and opted to field first. His decision paid immediately as Gladiators got off to slow start. Aamer Yamin removed Ahsan Ali, Watson also failed to make much impact and was back to pavilion after contributing 25. But Umar Akmal played sensibly and struck 55 and Rossow contributed 44. Anwar Ali played breath-taking innings of unbeaten 27 in just 6 balls by hitting four sixes, which changed the whole complexion of Gladiators, who at one stage were looking to post 160 odd, but they managed to score 186-5 in allotted overs. Aamer Yamin took 3 for 37.