The equation was simple for Karachi Kings before the game: win and progress to the playoffs. If they lost, they needed to make sure that it didn’t affect their net run-rate badly because Multan Sultans were tied with them on 9 points too but their NRR was inferior compared to Karachi. So with their future in their own hands, Karachi thumped Islamabad United – who had already been assured of top spot irrespective of today’s result – to book the second spot in the table and ensure they get two bites of the cherry at making the final of the Pakistan Super League 2018.
After opting to bowl first, Karachi’s bowling was disciplined, which never allowed Islamabad to get on top on a pitch which was on the slower side. The tone was set by the impressive left-arm fast opening bowler Usman Khan, who struck with the new ball and then came back to clean things up. He finished with a four-fer and was ably supported by the spinners, with Afridi reaching 300 T20 wickets when he got Chadwick Walton out. Islamabad, who had rested some of their key players, failed to bat the stipulated 20 overs as they were bowled out for 124 in the 19th over.
Asif Ali remained the sole bright spot in Islamabad’s innings, tonking a 14-ball 34, an innings which included one boundary and four sixes, smashing two hits over the fence each to Mohammad Irfan and Tymal Mills in the 12th and 14th over respectively.
The chase was a straight-forward one with Joe Denly playing an attacking innings at the top which took all the pressure off the middle-order. Even though Denly and Morgan got out in quick time, the in-form Babar Azam and Colin Ingram ensured no alarm bells with a calm stand that completed the victory.