Asif Ali inspired Islamabad United to a win against bottom-side Karachi Kings in their latest Pakistan Super League (PSL) fixture on Wednesday.
Batting first, the Kings scored 168 for eight in their 20 overs, but Islamabad made little work of the competitive target and comfortably chased it down in the last over.
Let’s take a look at some talking points from another disappointing night for Karchi.
Karachi Kings fail to capitalise on their good start once again
The Kings failed to make big on their explosive start — led by Babar Azam and Liam Livingstone. Azam made 68 while Livingstone scored 56 runs. The rest of Karachi’s batting line didn’t show up on the field at all and no one except Azam and Livingstone was able to cross the 20-run mark. In the end, the target Karachi gave Islamabad wasn’t nearly enough and the Kings slumped to yet another defeat.
Rumman Raees the pick of the bowlers for Islamabad United
Rumman Raees picked up three wickets in the innings, giving away 27 runs at an economy of 6.75. Raees dismissed opener Colin Munro, Karachi’s last-match hero Colin Ingram and skipper Imad Wasim to restrict the Kings to a fairly decent total that was unable to trouble United’s strong batting line.
Asif Ali makes Karachi Kings pay for dropping his catch
Man of the match Asif Ali was dropped by Mohammad Rizwan when he was at just 13 runs. Asif went on to play a brilliant innings of 70 from 38 balls to punish Rizwan and Karachi for the blunder. Asif hit five fours and six maximums at a strike-rate of 184 and by the time he was dismissed, the game was already out of Karachi’s reach.
Babar Azam back in form at the top of the order for Karachi Kings
Azam scored 77 runs in the opening match for Karachi this year but has been failing to make it big ever since. And now he looks to be back in form. He timed the ball sweetly for his 68 off 50 balls that included 10 fours at a strike-rate of 136. In the end he got out trying to hit a six in the later part of the innings.
Hussain Talat and Cameron Delport need to pull their weight
Talat and Delport have featured in all of Islamabad’s games so far this season, but even they themselves must be wondering about their place in the side. In seven games, Delport hasn’t crossed the 30-run mark even once — and has thrice been dismissed for a duck. Talat hasn’t done too good either. In his seven innings, Talat’s highest score has been 30 and has been dismissed without scoring in two of the seven games.
Imad Wasim's captaincy raises more questions than answers
Wasim’s strongest suit this year has been his bowling. His batting form has been worrisome and fans and critics are questioning his leadership abilities on the field. He asked medium-pacer Aamer Yamin to bowl when two new batsmen were on the crease for Islamabad, instead of opting for his strike-bowlers. In the final over, when United needed seven runs to win, Wasim, himself a spinner, came out to bowl and Shadab Khan smacked him for a six to secure victory for Islamabad.