Abu Dhabi, June 18: Babar Azam hit a fifty while skipper Imad Wasim smashed 30 off 19 balls before Noor Ahmad derailed Lahore Qalandars' chase to help Karachi Kings register a thrilling win in the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2021).
Kings, the title defenders, remained on the fifth spot on the points table after the win, but they now have eight points from four wins in nine matches. Qalandars' position also remained unchanged as they sat on the third spot with 10 points.
Qalandars were provided with a flying start in their chase of 177. Fakhar Zaman smashed Imad Wasim for two gigantic sixes on the leg-side and Sohail Akhtar, the Qalandars captain, followed it up with two fours off Mohammad Amir in the second.
The third over added another 11 runs to the total, but it took almost seven more overs and the loss of three wickets for Qalandars to score the next 34 as Kings, on the back of their brilliant bowling, pulled their side back in the contest. It was young pacer Mohammad Ilyas who delivered the first breakthrough as he trapped Qalandars captain LBW in the
Qalandars needed 18 off the last three balls and Rashid Khan deposited Ilyas for a six over third-man. That final hope, however, was short lived as the next ball went to four and the last ball turned out to be a dot. Kings' innings was studded with yet another Babar half-century.
The Pakistan captain stroked seven fours in his 44-ball 54 and is now just six runs away from becoming the first batsman to touch 2,000-run mark in the PSL. Over the course of his stay at the crease, he got as many as four reprieves being dropped each time.
He could have been the first wicket of the day had Ben Dunk caught an edge off James Faulkner in the second over. He was put down in the fifth over off Haris Rauf and twice of Ahmed Daniyal by Haris in the 10th over and Rashid in the 15th. Babar's scores at these instances were one, nine, 23 and 54.