An impressive opening Partnership between Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam with 151 runs ensured an impressive 10-wicket win for Karachi Kings against archrival Lahore Qalandars on Thursday at Karachi National Stadium.
With the highest opening partnership of HBL PSL 2020, Kings avenged their defeat against Qalandars with eight wickets last Sunday at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.
Sharjeel, who was named man of the game, smashed a sizzling 74 that wasn’t made of 59 balls and had five fours and five sixes, while Babar’s brilliant undefeated 46-ball 69 was embellished with eight fours and one six as Kings The goal overtook with 17 balls.
The momentum for the chase was set in the second and third overs – when they brought King’s 25 runs – after Shaheen Afridi only allowed one run in the innings opener.
Sharjeel smashed Samit Patel in the second round for two fours and the home team position was further reinforced by Babar, the world’s leading T20I batsman, as his lush wrist work brought him three boundaries of Shaheen’s bowling in the next round.
The problems for Qalandars exacerbated in the last power play when Sharjeels’ two catches by wicketkeeper Ben Dunk and Mohammad Farzan Raja were knocked down at the deep square leg.
From this point on, the opening pair dominated the action by artfully turning the stroke and hitting the boundaries around the dial.
There were fireworks on the 13th when Sharjeel and Babar Shaheen struck for six and four, respectively, which cost 17 runs to the bowling side and brought Kings one step closer to victory.
However, it was the 17th that turned out to be the most expensive for Qalandars as David Wiese was beaten by Sharjeel and Babar for the maximum at the first and third ball.
Previously, Qalandar’s captain Sohail Akhtar had caressed an attractive half-century after Kings’ captain Imad Wasim was elected to the field.
Sohail, who opened the innings with Fakhar Zaman (17 of 13), scored the first goal for his team with a 49-ball 68. The right-handed batsman hit eight fours and two sixes and gave his team the desired start by having an anchored -run opening stand that ended on the last ball of the power play as a fakhar against Umaid Asif (4-0-34-2) played.
Kings ‘Pacer Arshad Iqbal affected Qalandars’ innings by removing Chris Lynn (five out of five) in the ninth round and putting pressure on Qalandars by overthrowing Ben Dunk, their highest run-getter this season, in the 13th Continuity.
Arshad continued to impress with his clever variations and released a form-fitting Sohail, who had made his second fifty in three games by later catching him LBW 11 balls. The scorecard at that time was 108 for four in 14.1 overs.
Arshad, the medium-speed right-arm bowler who was King’s up-and-coming choice, returned two for 15 in three overs.
The fact that the Qalandars bowlers had something to roll was thanks to the experienced all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, who hit three fours and a six in his unbeaten 22-ball 35.
Karachi Kings, who now has four wins from eight games, jumped from fifth place on the back of the overall win to second place in the points table.
Lahore Qalandars slips to fourth place and has only one game left to play against Multan Sultans in Lahore on Sunday.
Match Summary & Results:
150-5, 20 overs (Sohail Akhtar 68, Mohammad Hafeez 35; Arshad Iqbal 2-15, Umaid Asif 2-34)
151-0, 17.1 overs (Sharjeel Khan 74 not out, Babar Azam 69 not out)
Result: Karachi Kings win by 10 wickets