After a hiatus of nearly eight months, The Pakistani Super League is making a resounding comeback as King Karachi suffers a late fainting in what is a fairly smooth running chase, and stumbles their way into Super Over. However, Sherfane Rutherford and Mohammed Amir saved the day and led them to the PSL final for the first time.
Sohail Tanvir, who made no mistake in the two innings, went wrong in Super Over as Rutherford destroyed four and six of them in Super Over 13 times. Multan Sultan is still on the hunt with experienced Rossouw and Bopara to fight, but Amir nailed him perfectly to help his team in the end.
For a long time in pursuit of a total under par 141/7, it looked like King Karachi would slide behind a solid bowling performance complimented perfectly by Babar Azam’s classy, stroke-filled 65.But Tanvir, the cameo pushed Multan Sultans into 141 / 7, hit a superb double in the 17th minute to bring the run-chase to a halt.
The pendulum swings frantically as Imad Wasim still keeps the hopes of his team alive even after a flurry of dismissals at death. He chased Tanvir in the 19th round to reduce his equation from 19 of 12 to just 7 of the last 6, but Mohammed Ilyas held back his nerve to drag the game into Super Over.
Asked to hit first on the two-step pitch at the National Stadium in Karachi, Multan Sultans had a bad start as they lost three of their top four – inside the PowerPlay over. Amid the collapse, Multan opener Zeeshan Ashraf was offered a reprieve at the end of the fourth, but was unable to make the opponent pay as he fell while trying to break the shackles right after PowerPlay, hiding away Imad Wasim.
Experienced Bopara and Khushdil Shah began dragging their team out of the mess, taking them from 40 for 4 in seventh to 78 for 4 in 12, including 14 runs in which Wayne Parnell was on the receiving end of Bopara’s onslaught. Khushdil was also trying to move forward, which resulted in his goal catching up when Arshad Iqbal used a clever change of pace to produce an untimely pull that shot straight at the deep square leg midfielder.
A brief pause followed, before Shahid Afridi managed to make an effort to deposit the ball from Iqbal into the stands in the 17th minute. But as always, Afridi took another big blow on the next delivery when Iqbal took over his pace. As a result, Afridi’s big blow fell to Alex Hales for a long time. To add to their woes, Multan lost Bopara above 18th and put them at risk of finishing with a severe sub-par total. But, Tanvir goes a step higher with his six punch prowess. He pursued Parnell and finished with 25 * off 13 as Multan hit 141 for 7.
It always looked like Multan was around 15-20 short of time when Azam hit his class in hot pursuit. Although Sharjeel Khan was sacked early, Azam and Alex Hales made a smooth transition towards recovery, taking the team to 46 for 1 at the end of PowerPlay. It took a bizarre sack at 10 ends to end the partnership – Azam hit a straight drive that ricocheted off bowler Khushdil Shah’s hands and tapped the stump at the non-striker’s end, catching Hales short of the fold. But Azam didn’t let that affect the task at hand as he beat Shahid Afridi for the top six in the next sequence.
Iftikar Ahmed was slow to start and was unable to get his attention before Afridi fired him to give Multan an advantage. But with Azam still there, halfway through his century, King Karachi still wields the ace. In fact, the equation depends on Karachi having to score the same number of runs in the last six overs, as they did the first six – 46.
But as it turns out, Tanvir caused Harakiri to extend the game beyond the stipulated 40 limit, but King Karachi still ended the night as the happier side.
Short Score: Multan Sultan 141/7 in 20 overs (Ravi Bopara 40, Sohail Tanvir 25 *; Arshad Iqbal 2-21) series with King of Karachi 141/8 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 65, Imad Wasim 27 *; Sohail Tanvir 3-25). Karachi Kings won Super Over.