SHARJAH: Brilliant batting by Fakhar Zaman and disciplined bowling by the bowlers helped Lahore Qalandars’ defeat Karachi Kings by 7 runs in the 8th Pakistan Super League (PSL) thrilling match at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday. Karachi’s captain Kumar Sangakkara smashed one six and eight fours to score 65 off 45 deliveries and along with Shoaib Malik, added 101 runs for the third wicket partnership in 64 deliveries. Former captain of Kings’ Shoaib Malik smashed two huge sixes to score 39 off 30 deliveries. However, Lahore bowlers kept their nerves in control and restricted Karachi Kings’ to 172-8, orchestrating the second victory for the team in the mega tournament. For Lahore, Sunil Narine and Sohail Tanvir bowled brilliantly and captured two wickets apiece. Lahore’s M Irfan, once again, bowled superbly and bagged two wickets, conceding 35 runs. Earlier, Lahore Qalandars, riding on a brilliant half century by Fakhr Zaman, scored 179-8 in 20 overs after being invited by Karachi Kings to bat first on a batting friendly wicket. Qalandars, despite losing Brendon McCullum (0 off two deliveries) early, went off to a good start as the batsmen kept the scorecard moving at a good pace. Captain McCullum was bowled by Imad Wasim in the second over with only 12 runs on the board, but Jason Roy and Fakhr Zaman didn’t allow Karachi Kings’ bowling line to take advantage of early wicket to keep the momentum for Lahore Qalandars going.
Both Jason and Fakhr added 45 runs for the second wicket partnership which got broken with Jason’s wicket off Sohail Khan’s delivery after scoring 26 off 16. After Jason’s wicket, Fakhr was joined by Umar Akmal to continue the momentum and the duo added 47 runs for the third wicket. Umar Akmal scored 25 off 16 balls, smashing one six and three boundaries while Fakhr Zaman smashed three sixes and five boundaries for his 36-ball-56. Lahore couldn’t keep the momentum at usual pace in last five overs and scored only 39 runs off them. Fast bowler M Aamir conceded just four runs of last over taking two wickets and causing one run out in final six balls to stop Qalandars from posting a possibly mammoth total. M Rizwan scored 29 off 22 deliveries, Grant Elliot scored 17 off 18 deliveries while Sunil Narine scored 13 off 6 deliveries. Fakhar Zaman was named man of the match. This is Lahore’s second triumph in four games, while Karachi has lost all the three games it played so far in the tournament, so far. Tomorrow (Friday), Peshawar Zalmi will take on Quetta Gladiators in the 9th match at 4:30pm while Islamabad United will vie against Karachi Kings in the 10th match 9pm.
Lahore Qalandars: Brendon McCullum (captain), Azhar Ali, Aamer Yamin, Sohail Tanvir, Sunil Narine, Umar Akmal, Jason Roy, Yasir Shah, James Franklin, Mohammad Rizwan, Cameron Delport, Fakhar Zaman, Bilawal Bhatti, Ghulam Mudassar, Usman Qadir, Grant Elliot, Chris Green, Saif Badar, Mohammad Irfan (Jr.), Zafar Gohar.
Karachi Kings: Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Shoaib Malik, Chris Gayle, Babar Azam, Ravi Bopara, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Safiullah Bangash, Shazaib Hasan, Sohail Khan, Kieron Pollard, Ryan McLaren, Khurram Manzoor, Kashif Bhatti, Abrar Ahmed, Hasan Mohsin, Mahela Jayawardene, Usama Mir, Rahat Ali, Amad Alam.