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Munro, bowlers lift Islamabad United to beat Karachi Kings

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KARACHI: Colin Munro’s quickfire 82 after a combined bowling effort led Islamabad United to beat Karachi Kings by seven wickets in the 15th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 here at National Bank Stadium on Wednesday.

Chasing 166, openers Munro and Alex Hales gave United a flying start to the pursuit with a century-plus partnership.

The left-handed batter dominated the match-defining stand while Hales played an anchoring knock which lasted in the 12th over, bowled by Hasan Ali.

Hales struck seven boundaries on his way to a 35-ball 47.

Meanwhile, Colin Munro stood his ground firm and carried his bat till the 15th over before falling victim to Mohammad Nawaz.

He remained the top-scorer for the United with a 47-ball 82 with the help of eight boundaries and four sixes.

The United then lost another wicket in the pursuit when Tabraiz Shamsi struck in the next over to send Imad Wasim (0) back.

The back-to-back dismissals halted the flow of runs for the United but skipper Shadab Khan and Salman Ali Agha batted sensibly amid their unbeaten 30-run partnership and steered the two-time champions to an important victory.

Shadab scored a cautious 10 off 11 deliveries while Agha made a 17-ball 25 with the help of two sixes.

For the Kings, Nawaz, Shamsi and Hasan struck out a batter apiece.

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Put into bat first, the Kings registered 165/5 on the board, courtesy of an unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership between Pollard and Irfan.

The hosts had an unwanted start to their innings as Imad Wasim dismissed Tim Seifert (8) in the third over with just 17 runs on the board.

Following the early debacle, skipper Shan Masood was joined by Leus du Plooy and the pair briefly bolstered the total.

They added a brisk 40 runs in just five overs before Salman Ali Agha cleaned up du Plooy in the eighth over. He scored 24 off just 15 deliveries with the help of four boundaries.

Kings’ captain Masood attempted to anchor the innings before falling victim to Hunain Shah in the 10th over after scoring 27 off 30 deliveries, laced up with three boundaries.

The Kings then lost two more wickets in quick succession with Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Nawaz, six each, perishing cheaply and bringing the hosts down to 89/5 in 13.1 overs.

With half of the batters back into the dugout, Kieron Pollard joined forces with Mohammad Irfan Khan and put together a gutsy partnership.

Their unbeaten stand yielded 76 runs and lifted Karachi Kings to breach the 160-run barrier.

Pollard, the core aggressor of the sixth-wicket stand, top-scored for the Kings with an unbeaten 28-ball 48 which featured two boundaries and a six.

Irfan, on the other hand, played a supportive role with 27 not out off 22 deliveries, hitting four boundaries.

For the United, Imad, Naseem Shah, Agha and Hunain Shah made one scalp each.

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