DUBAI: Islamabad United kept their Pakistan Super League (PSL) final hopes alive when they trounced Karachi Kings by nine wickets in the second qualifying final here at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday night.
By virtue of this triumph, Islamabad United have now qualified to play Peshawar Zalmi in the third qualifying final on Sunday which will decide who will face Quetta Gladiators in the main final on February 23. In this one-sided encounter, Islamabad United, chasing a target of 112, had little to exert in achieving the goal losing just one wicket in the process off 14.2 overs.
After losing the first wicket of Sharjeel Khan (9) at the total of 18, Dwayne Smith and Brad Haddin with an unbroken second-wicket partnership of 97 steered United to a coveted victory.
Haddin remained undefeated with 29-ball 52 runs while Smith contributed unbeaten 48-ball 50 runs. Islamabad United’s only wicket to fall, that of Sharjeel Khan, was claimed by Sohail Khan conceding 25 runs.
Earlier, a fiery spell by medium pacer M Sami ripped through Karachi Kings batting who were restricted to just 111-9 in the allotted 20 overs. Sami on his way, bowling extremely well, returned with the remarkable figures of 5-8 off four overs which turned out to be his career-best.
Karachi Kings after shaky start, having lost fourth wicket for just 39, got respectability to their total through a 49-run fifth wicket partnership between captain Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate. Bopara emerged as top scorer for Kings with 36-ball 37 runs laced with one four and one six while Doeschate contributed significant 23-ball 16 runs. Lendl Simmons was their other notable contributor with 19 off 18 balls as no other batsmen could reach double figures except extras (12).
The Kings wickets, after departure of Bopara and Doeschate, went on falling at regular interval to see their innings finally ending at 111-9.
Besides M Sami, other main bowlers to make impression were Andre Russel (2-21), M Irfan (1-24) and Samuel Badree (1-22).
As compare to Friday, local holiday, there was a thin crowd at the Dubai Stadium to witness the second qualifying final.