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PSL 3: Karachi Kings Beats Lahore Qalandars, Rules the Table with Unbeaten Record

There’s no uncertainty to say that Karachi Kings have actually gotten wings to fly that led them to help register their third win in a row thanks to the splendid performance of Shahid Afridi and Ravi Bopara. The Lahore Qalandars, who are yet to rescue a victory in this tournament, has suffered yet another embarrassment. Once again, their middle order bowed badly and paved way for the Kings to a 27-run victory easily.

A measured shot can make or break a game. On Monday night at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Lahore Qalandars recognized that two failed reverse sweep attempts ruined their victory chase, which was on a cruise control, to hand over Karachi Kings the chance of maintaining their undefeated streak to lead the points table in the third edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Before, the Karachi Kings had won the toss and decided to bat first. In the beginning overs, the decision proved to be a good one when English batsman Joe Denly got them off to a flyer. His partner Khurram Manzoor was struggling, but with Denly going whacky, he had got enough time to improve his strike-rate.

After smashing 36 runs with one ball left in the 4th over, they could not carry the momentum forward for long as Karachi lost three wickets back-to-back in 10 balls without scoring a run. With the percentage efforts of bowlers, KK was quickly restricted to 36/3, with Mustafizur Rahman, Sunil Narine, and Yasir Shah getting the wickets.

Colin Ingram and Ravi Bopara, then steadied the ship in the middle overs of the match to help the Kings get out of this difficulty. They did so quite wonderfully, stemming the flow of wickets and gradually escalating the scoring rate. Bopara paced his innings perfectly in these difficult circumstances and also strengthen Ingram’s innings, who was struggling with spinners.

The pair added 50 runs for the 4th wicket in 44 balls and got them close to the 100-run mark. This partnership came to an end with Ingram falling to Yasir Shah. Though Bopara kept losing partners at the other end, he stitched some precious stands with Imad Wasim and Mohammad Irfan to help his side post a decent total. Bopara finished with a well-compiled half-century in 34 balls.

Eventually, they registered 159 runs losing 7 wickets. Yasir Shah and Sunil Narine returned with braces and both of them were very tidy. Mustafizur too had a decent outing, returning with figures of 1/22 in 4 overs.

despite Sunil Narine duck exit, Lahore's batting got a good start. Qalandars were hovering in a chase through a furious stand between captain Mc Cullum and Fakhar Zaman that gotten them 69 runs in the 38 balls. However, once Afridi provided the breakthrough by dismissing Zaman, there was a brief procession. In the very next over, captain Imad Wasim picked up the prized-scalp of Brendon McCullum in a span of 3 balls. Afridi continued to smash with another two wickets in his next two overs, which exactly destroyed the Qalandars’ mission. Qalandars went from 70 for 1 to 91 for 5 within just 22 balls. Their innings got slower and ultimately, they were bundled out for 132 runs in 18.3 overs. Usman Khan returned with impressive figures of 3/26.

Shahid Afridi was awarded Man of the Match for his stunning effort with the ball. He is always a threat with the ball. He is 37 but his leg-spin has not lost his zip as he finished with figures of 3-19 from four overs. He even got an accomplished batsman of spin like Umar Akmal stumped, which shows his effectiveness.

Kings displayed some brilliant catching, including a miraculous diving catch by Joe Denly at backward point that would have made Jonty Rhodes proud. Denesh Ramdin slashed at an awful Mohammed Irfan Junior delivery and the English fielder dived to his right to grab a scorcher while he was parallel to the ground. That catch summed up the contrasting spirits in the two camps.

 

Nazish Islam - a media graduate with an undying love for chai, books, traveling, series shows, sports, hijab, and of course writing.

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