Munro blows away Kings in Karachi

By Khalid Hussain
February 29, 2024
Islamabad United batter AlexColin Munro can be seen in this image. — Facebook/Islamabad United

KARACHI: The National Bank Stadium was supposed to give a further shot in the arm to Karachi Kings here on Wednesday night.


The Kings came home following back-to-back wins in the first leg of the HBL Pakistan Super league (PSL). They were facing Islamabad United, a team that seemed low on confidence following three consecutive losses in the up country.

But the Kings, playing in front of a surprisingly small crowd, were unable to capitalise on the momentum after being put into bat on a slow wicket. They hobbled to 165-5 after an early struggle that saw them gasping for air at 89-5 in 13.1 overs. In the end the duo of Kieron Pollard and Irfan Khan put on 76 from 41 balls to give them some hope.

But that effort proved to be a case of too little too late for the Kings as Islamabad openers Colin Munro and Alex Hales took the match away with an stunning opening stand of 108 from just 11.2 overs.

Munro, the Durban-born big-hitter from New Zealand, was at his brilliant best as enthralled the crowd with a series of stunning sixes that included two dazzling switch-hits off spinners Tabraiz Shamsi and Mohammad Nawaz.

He carried on after Hales fell to Hasan Ali following a 35-ball 47, helping Islamabad wrap up a one-sided triumph that can put their PSL campaign back on track.

While Islamabad were purposeful with the ball and lethal with the bat, Karachi were unable to bring their A game to the field. They fell at least 20-30 runs short as their top order batters failed to convert starts. Skipper Shan Masood fell for a 27-ball 30 while Leus du Plooy was dismissed for 24 off 15. Shoaib Malik’s run out was also a big setback. The seasoned Pollard made 48 off 28 with two fours and a six while Irfan chipped in with a useful cameo of 27 that included four boundaries. Imad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Agha Salman and Hunain Shah were among the wickets.

Karachi were unable to stop the opening duo of Munro and Hales, who almost turned the game into a mismatch. Munro’s 82 came off just 47 balls with four sixes and eight fours. Islamabad lost Munro and Imad Wasim (0) in quick succession before Agha Salman and Shadab Khan guided them to a seven-wicket win with nine balls to spare. It was Salman who finished the job with consecutive sixes off Hasan Ali in the 19th over. He finished unbeaten at 25 from 17 balls. Shadab made 10 off 11.