Fiery pacemen Haris Rauf took four wickets and Shaheen Shah Afridi grabbed two wickets to change Lahore Qalandars’ fortunes as they downed Karachi Kings by 22 runs on day three of the HBL Pakistan Super League in Dubai on Saturday.
Rauf grabbed 4-23 while Shaheen returned with figures of 2-20 as Karachi Kings failed to chase down a modest 139-run target, primarily due to slow batting by Mohammad Rizwan (33-ball 34) and Babar Azam’s 28 which came off 38 deliveries.
The exploits of the two fiery pacemen wrecked Karachi to 116 all out in 19.5 overs.
Openers Sohail Akhtar (39) and Fakhar Zaman (26) were the major contributors while Anton Devcich made 28 in the final overs as Lahore Qalandars scored 138-6 in their allotted 20 overs.
Karachi lost their in-form opener Liam Livingstone for 11 in the second over. Livingstone had made a polished and quickfire 82 in their win over Multan Sultans on Friday. Shaheen had the Lancashire batsman bowled off a quicker one which Livingstone tried to pull for a boundary but missed it completely, only to see his stumps rattled.
Babar and promoted Rizwan added 47 for the second wicket but they consumed too many balls with Karachi’s total reading 55 after ten overs. Babar was bowled by Hardus Viljoen in the 12th over, hitting just two boundaries.
Rain briefly halted play with Karachi Kings 14 behind on Duckworth-Lewis par score. When the play resumed Shaheen bowled a superb 16th over conceding just two runs while dismissing Colin Ingram for 16.
Rauf was equally devastating at the other end, bowling Rizwan and then having Imad Wasim caught in the deep for a ten-ball 17 with a four and six. Rauf then dismissed Sohail Khan first ball but Mohammad Amir avoided a hat trick.
Man of the match Rauf said he bowled as per the advice of his coach.
It was not important to be the man of the match, but what was important was to win the game for my team with good bowling and I am happy that I achieved that,” said Rauf, a product of Lahore’s development programme.
Lahore’s win is their second in seven games against Karachi in HBL PSL history, with four losses and a tied game.
Twice runners-up Quetta Gladiators top the table after three days of league matches, with one win from one match and a superior run-rate. Lahore are second with a higher net run rate with two points in two games. Multan Sultans, Islamabad United and Karachi Kings follow with two points with one win each in two games while Peshawar lost their only game and have no points.
It was another story of high to low for Lahore Qalandars as they scored 77 for one in the first ten overs but could not replicate that in the last ten, losing track as they managed 61 for the loss of five wickets.
Sohail smashed three boundaries and two sixes as he and Fakhar gave another solid start of 64 to Lahore who were put into bat by Karachi Kings skipper Imad Wasim. They put on 97 in the opening game which Lahore lost by five wickets against Islamabad.
Young left-arm spinner Umer Khan provided Karachi Kings with the much needed breakthrough as Sohail holed out off a slower one while Fakhar miscued a cut off part-timer Sikander Raza to leave Lahore at 77-2.
Umer’s prized wicket was that of AB de Villiers who holed out off Umer, miscuing a slog sweep as the left-armer looped the ball, judging the master batsman was ready for a slog. Umer danced with joy at getting the valuable wicket, one wonders whether he would sleep after this lifetime scalp.
Skipper Mohammad Hafeez showed some hitting prowess as he lofted Umer for six but in the next over Sikander Raza smartly ran him out with a direct throw from the covers. Hafeez made 11-ball 14.
Devcich and Brendon Taylor (13 with one six) added 27 but dearth of boundaries let Lahore down. Umer finished with impressive figures of 2-25 in his four overs while Mohammad Amir and Raza took wicket apiece.
Lahore managed just one boundary in the last four overs.
AB de Villiers said it was a good win, with an impressive bowling attack.
“It was a privilege to represent Lahore and then captaining for a few overs (after regular captain Mohammad Hafeez went off the field with a finger injury),” said De Villiers. “Rauf was impressive and his is an interesting story that how he played cricket in the first place.”
Karachi skipper Imad said his team was wrecked by some good bowling.
“Lahore has a good pace attack and Shaheen and Rauf bowled superbly and it was tough to chase on this pitch,” said Imad.
Earlier, Multan Sultans opened their account with a five-wicket win over title holders Islamabad United.
Sunday will see Islamabad facing Quetta Gladiators while Peshawar Zalmi will lock horns with Lahore.