Karachi did everything, won a crucial toss and restricted their opponents to a modest 132 but could not finish the match as they go down by a mere two runs against a hitherto win-less Islamabad in the Pakistan Super League
It was a case of so near yet so far for Shoaib Malik’s ARY owned team as they needed ten off the last two balls and when their England recruit Ravi Bopara hit Shane Watson exactly close to where the ARY franchise owners, Salman iqbal and Co, were sitting it seemed that they will pull off a sensational win but it was not to be.
Instead the enclosure with Islamabad officials, notable amongst them was their mentor Wasim Akram’s wife Shaniera, that went on their feet as Bopara failed to connect a full length delivery.
Karachi Kings suffered their second defeat in three games and despite an improved body language they are now left to ponder their position in the league in which they will play their next game in Sharjah on Wednesday and hope a venue change will change their luck.
It was Pakistan discard Saeed Ajmal who derailed Karachi in their chase with 3-27 in three overs to help Islamabad defend a modest 133-run target on the same Dubai stadium strip that has been used for four days.
Islamabad had lost six wickets in the space of 35 runs and from 76-1 finished on 132-8 with Khalid Latif scoring 39.
Karachi too wobbled right at the start when they lost James Vince leg-before to Ajmal for two and then saw Lendl Simmons departing for one, a silly run out to make it 2-3. Imad Wasim., promoted to number three, smashed six boundaries in his 17-ball 29.
Karachi had pinned their hopes on skipper Shoaib Malik who fell for six while Shakib Al Hasan made 20. When Sohail Tanvir was run out to make it 8-90 it seemed all over for the Karachi team but Bopara and Osama Mir (10) added 28 for the ninth wicket but it couldn’t lift their team to win.
Earlier Islamabad raced to 31 in the fifth over before they lost Watson (13) before Latif and Sharjeel (28) added 45 for the second wicket but once Sharjeel went Islamabad lost Asher Zaidi (six), Andre Russell (two), Misbah-ul-Haq and Sam Billings four each. It derailed their innings and it was only left to Mohammad sami (20) Imran Khalid (12) to score useful runs in the last two overs.
Karachi Kings coach Mickey Arthur refused to blame the toss or the pitch.
“Well, I think we bowled well today but our batting got panicked which we have to address quickly,” said Arthur. “We need to do well in all departments to win.”