A fine all-round show by Iftikhar Ahmed with two cheap wickets and solid unbeaten 33 led Karachi Kings to a hard-fought five-wicket win over Lahore Qalandars to keep their hopes of a place in the playoffs alive in the HBL PSL on Thursday.
Iftikhar picked 2-4 with tidy off-spin as Lahore were restricted to 133-5 before Liam Livingstone’s 34-ball 38 with two sixes and three boundaries and Iftikhar’s steady 25-ball knock with two sixes and as many boundaries took Karachi to the target in 19.1 overs at Dubai stadium.
Lahore were lifted to 133-5 by some solid batting by AB de Villiers who made a laborious 32-ball 33 with two boundaries and a six while Sohail Akhtar smashed a six and a boundary in 22-ball 29 to take Lahore to 133-5.
The win not only lifted Karachi from the brink of elimination but put them on xxx in the six-team points table. They are now fifth with six points, three wins and four defeats in seven games. Lahore Qalandars are fourth (three wins and three losses in seven games but have a better net run-rate than Karachi.
Peshawar to the top of the table (eight points from six games, winning four and losing two with a net run-rate of 0.97). Islamabad United are second with four wins, three losses in seven matches but have a better net run-rate than Quetta, who also have eight points from six games — two defeats and four wins.
Multan are no sixth with two wins and five defeats in seven games.
Nepali spinner Sandeep Lamichanne (2-17 in four overs) had jolted Karachi in the run chase, dismissing Babar Azam (11) and Colin Munro (15) inside the first five overs. Livingstone in company of Colin Ingram (12) lifted the innings with a third-wicket stand of 50.
But it became tighter in the end when Karachi needed 34 in the last four overs. Iftikhar kept his nerves and was ably supported by skipper Imad Wasim who made a 13-ball 19 with two boundaries.
Lahore were off to a disastrous start as opener Gauhar Ali was dismissed off the third ball of the first over by Imad, scoring just four. Part-timer Iftikhar Ahmed then chipped in with two wickets, dismissing Fakhar Zaman for a 21-ball 18 which had three boundaries.
Iftikhar then dismissed Haris Sohail for 20 who was shaping well after hitting three boundaries.
Corey Anderson hit two towering sixes to threaten the bowling but was stumped off left-arm spinner Umer Khan for an 18-ball 22. De Villiers added 31 for the fifth wicket with Sohail but Lahore’s innings could not get off in the final overs.
Earlier, Peshawar beat Multan by seven wickets. Friday will see Peshawar meeting Islamabad while Multan will play Quetta.