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All-round Islamabad United edge Karachi Kings to boost playoffs hopes

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RAWALPINDI: A combined bowling and batting performance led Islamabad United to an important five-wicket victory over Karachi Kings in the 24th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 here at Pindi Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

Set to chase 151, Islamabad United amassed the total for the loss of five wickets and eight balls to spare.

Colin Munro (9) and Alex Hales (18) gave the United a brief flying start before both fell victim to Mir Hamza inside the batting powerplay with 39 runs on the board.

Following early blows, Shadab Khan joined Salman Ali Agha and anchored the run chase with a gritty partnership.

The duo added 58 runs amid their third wicket stand before Blessing Muzarabani got Agha caught behind in the 13th over. He scored 33 off 30 deliveries, laced up with one boundary and a six.

Meanwhile, Shadab Khan stood his ground firm and put together a brief partnership with Azam Khan (9) before both perished in the span of six deliveries as the United slipped to 115/5 in 15.1 overs.

Shadab remained the top-scorer for the United with a 26-ball 34 which featured four boundaries.

Following his dismissal, Haider Ali took the reigns of United’s pursuit and steered his side over the line in the penultimate over with an unbeaten 36-run partnership with Faheem Ashraf, who scored 12 not out.

Haider smashed two boundaries and a six on his way to an unbeaten 26 off 16 deliveries.

Mir Hamza led the bowling attack for Karachi Kings with 3/41 while Muzarabani and Mahmmod took one apiece.

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Put into bat first, Karachi Kings registered 150/7 in the allotted 20 overs at the back of a sensible knock by Pollard.

The visitors had a shaky start to their innings as Faheem Ashraf dismissed their captain Shan Masood in the fifth over with 34 runs on the board.

Masood managed 10 off 12 deliveries and hit one boundary.

Faheem struck again in the next over and further dented Karachi Kings’ start as they slipped to 43/2 in 6.4 overs.

Karachi Kings then sustained two more blows to their batting expedition as they lost experienced Shoaib Malik (1) and Mohammad Nawaz (5) inside nine overs with just 49 runs on the board.

Following the debacle, Pollard joined James Vince in the middle and launched an astounding recovery.

The duo batted sensibly and added 58 runs at a brisk rate amid their fifth-wicket partnership, which lasted with Vince’s dismissal in the 14th over.

The Englishman scored an anchoring 29 off 27 deliveries with the help of five boundaries.

Pollard then partnered briefly with Muhammad Irfan Khan before finally perishing in the 18th over.

He remained the top-scorer for Karachi Kings with a sensational 39 off 28 deliveries, hitting three boundaries and as many sixes in the process.

Irfan followed his footsteps in the next over after a cautious 16. His 13-ball innings featured one boundary and a six.

Left-arm pacer Tymal Mills led the bowling attack for Islamabad United with 3/34, followed by Faheem Ashraf, who bagged two for 16 in his four overs.

Imad Wasim and Hunain Shah shared two wickets between them.

READ: Usman Tariq reported for suspect bowling action

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