Babar Azam drives Karachi Kings to second consecutive win


Rawalpindi: Babar Azam smashed 70 runs off 59 balls to help Karachi Kings beat Peshawar Zalmi by six wickets in the 15th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 5 at Pindi Stadium on Monday.

Babar stood firm at the crease as Kings chased 152 runs target in the second last over with a match-winning boundary struck by the right-handed star batsman.

Earlier, Mohammad Amir struck twice in the first over to set the tone for the men in blue to restrict Zalmi on 151-8 in 20 overs. Amir removed Tom Banton on the very first ball of the inning followed by a threatening in-swinger to young Haider Ali who got no chance to pick up the length and walked off after hitting just a boundary.

Amir Yamin then joined the party and removed in-form Kamran Akmal with a simple catch at mid-wicket. Akmal scored just 4.

Shoaib Malik utilized his experience and played calmly to take his team to a defendable total. The right-handed batter scored 68 runs off 55 balls with the help of six boundaries and a six.

Liam Livingstone and Lewis Gregory made 25 runs each to make small contributions to the team’s total.

Amir bagged four wickets which earned him the man-of-the-match award while Chris Jordan took two wickets. Amir Yamin and Umer Khan shared a wicket apiece.

In reply, Kings lost Sharjeel Khan earlier but Babar and Alex Hales played brilliantly and added 101 runs to the team’s total while chasing. Hales remained unlucky and fell just a run short to his fifty. His powerful inning included six boundaries and two sixes.

Chadwick Walton also supported Babar in the end when his team lost two quick wickets. They both scored 40 runs for the fourth wicket.

For Zalmi, Yasir Shah bagged two wickets while Hasan Ali and Carlos Brathwaite took a wicket each.

With this win, Kings have gained the third position on the points table with six points in five matches.