Popular all-rounder Shahid Afridi took three wickets while Ravi Bopara scored a fighting hlaf century to help Karachi Kings beat sloppy Lahore Qalandars by 27 runs in the only match on day five at Dubai stadium on Monday.
Bopara held on end intact to complete 50 off 34 balls with two sixes and as many fours to lead Karachi Kings to 159-7 before Afridi took 3-19 in his four overs to derail Lahore from 81-3 to 132 all out in 18.3 overs.
Besides Afridi and Bopara’s brilliant show it was Joe Denly’s two outstanding catches that derailed Lahore Qalandars in the chase of 160-run target as they slumped to their third defeat in as many games.
Karachi Kings remained top of the table with their third win in as many games.
Denly pulled off stunning catches, the first off Sohail Akhtar at mid-off and then a beautiful catch at point off Denesh Ramdin’s forceful cut to lead Karachi Kings fightback after Brendon McCullum’s 30-ball 44 had laid the foundation.
McCullum smashed two sixes and five boundaries before he was trapped leg before by Imad Wasim in the eight over with the total at 72.
Afridi then dismissed Fakhar Zaman (19), Umar Akmal 9six) and Sohail (nine) to give Karachi a sniff of victory.
Usman Khan Shinwari, playing his first match since October when he suffered a stress fracture of the back, replacing Mohammad Amir, took 5-26 to wrap Lahore innings.
Ravi Bopara held Karachi innings with some wise batting.
Karachi Kings were off to a rollicking start with Joe Denly smashing five boundaries and a six in his 14-ball 28 as Karachi were 22-0 after two overs. But Lahore struck three blows at the score of 36 with Yasir, Narine and Mustafizur Rahman taking a wicket each.
Babar Zaman went for a first ball duck while Khurram Manzoor failed again, scoring only eight. Bopara and Colin Ingram steadied the innings with a 50 run partnership for the fourth wicket but Karachi were once again derailed as they lost three wickets in the space of 24 runs.
Ingram holed out to Yasir after scoring 20-ball 28 with a six and two boundaries before Sohail Khan had Imad Wasim (15) and Shahid Afridi (six) in the same over. Afridi came and went, hitting a six and then holed out.
But Bopara kept a cool head, helping Karachi Kings to 59 runs in the last 4.1 overs. He added an invaluable 42 with Irfan Junior (16 with one six and a boundary) for the unfinished eighth wicket stand. The former England all-rounder hit a six off the last ball to complete his half-century.
Sunil Narine (2-18) and Yasir Shah (2-25) were the main wicket-taker. Sohail also took two wickets but conceded a big 45 runs while Shaheen Afridi went for 39 in his four overs.
The league shifted to Sharjah on Wednesday after a day’s rest.