Former Australian wicket-keeper batsman Brad Haddin punished sloppy Lahore Qalandars for Islamabad’s xx-wicket win, allowing Karachi Kings to sneak into the play-offs in Dubai on Wednesday.
Haddin scored 42-ball 54 studded with five boundaries and two sixes as Islamabad made to work hard to achieve a 151-run target, completing the win in 19 overs on a batting-friendly Dubai stadium pitch.
Umar Akmal (49-ball 72 not out with three sixes and five fours) and Sohaib Maqsood (44-ball 57 with three sixes and five boundaries) lifted Lahore from a precarious 6-3 in the third over, adding an invaluable 97 runs for the fourth wicket.
The defeat was Lahore’s sixth in eight games, just like Karachi but they lost both their head to head with Kings that forced their exit from the league. Lahore’s help to Karachi is in a complete contrast to the intense rivalry between the two big cities of Pakistan.
After a day’s rest on Thursday, Quetta Gladiators will meet top-table team Peshawar Zalmi for a place in the final on Friday. Karachi will now meet Islamabad in the third-fourth play-off on Sunday.
The winner of Friday’s match will go to the final while the losers will face off with winners of the Saturday’s clash.
Lahore had lost both openers newcomer Dwayne Bravo and Sharjeel Khan with 24 on the board but Haddin and Khalid Latif (24-ball 25) added 63 for the third wicket to set the tone for the chase.
When Haddin was run out with 32 needed off 30 balls, Misbah-ul-Haq (38 not out) and Azhar Mahmood (12 not out) survived some anxious moments to ensure the good work is not wasted
When Lahore batted they too needed a lift after a disastrous start.
Lahore had lost their first three wickets in each of the first three overs. Without Chris Gayle, ruled out of the remaining league with a back problem, Lahore lost Azhar Ali (one) and Mohammad Rizwan (naught) to Mohammad Irfan in his first two overs.
Rumman Raees made it 6-3 when he had Mohammad Rizwan for naught in the third over, leaving Maqsood and Umar to repair the innings.
Maqsood, dropped from Pakistan’s Asia Cup and World Twenty20 squad, miscued a shot in the 16th over but Umar remained their till the last hitting a final ball six to help Lahore add 60 in the last five overs.
Umar is now the leading run-getter in the league with 335 runs in seven matches after missing team’s opening game with a back problem.
Irfan was the pick of bowlers with 3-22.
Karachi had earlier lost to Peshawar Zalmi by five wickets and had to wait for the last match to get the good news.