Karachi pulls off a nail-biting victory

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 25 (APP): Karachi Kings kept alive their chances of qualifying for the play-offs with a last-ball six from Kieron Pollard for a five-wicket win over Lahore Qalandars in Match 18 of the HBL PSL 2017 at Dubai International Stadium on Saturday.
Karachi Kings kept alive their chances of qualifying for the play-offs with a last-ball six from Kieron Pollard for a five-wicket win over Lahore Qalandars in Match 18 of the HBL PSL 2017 at Dubai International Stadium on Saturday.
Needing 10 off the last two balls bowled by Aamer Yamin, Pollard whacked two towering sixes to break Lahore hearts and live to fight another day in a thriller in Dubai.
Kings are virtually through to the last four stage and only a massive defeat at the hands of Islamabad United tomorrow will send them packing.
The match winning shot triggered wild celebrations in the Kings’ camp as well as their section of supporters that had packed the Dubai International Stadium.
Chasing a target of 156, opener Babar Azam led the charge with a brisk 49 which contained seven boundaries.
Kings had seemingly lost track of their chase after Babar Azam was dismissed for 49, Mahela Jayawardene brought into the eleven at the expense of Chris Gayle, Shoaib Malik and Ravi Bopara were all dismissed run out.
Pollard hit four sixes and one four in his 20 ball 45 run innings while Imad Wasim remained undefeated on 19, the two added 55 runs in their unbroken partnership that helped Kings earn their immensely valuable two points.
Kings have six points from seven games while Qalandars end their campaign with six from eight games.
“I told Imad to keep a cool head. It is important to make contact with the ball and keep calm. It is just a cricket match,” said Pollard who said he just executed what he has been practising.
“I just managed to get ball to bat. I had belief in myself. The pressure was always there,” said the West Indian who celebrated the win by doing push-ups Misbah style in a “spur of the moment” decision.
Qalandars captain Brendon McCullum described Pollard as an “incredible” player.
“It was a cracking match. An entertaining one which was decided on a couple of key moments. Unfortunately we came out second,” said the former New Zealand captain.
“You cannot blame Yameen. It’s just that Pollard played a couple of incredible shots. Now we have to wait and see the outcome of the last game which is beyond our control,” said McCullum as Qalandars slid to the bottom of the table while Lahore leap-frogged to fourth place on a better net run rate with a match in hand.
Earlier, Lahore recovered to make 155 for six after being into bat.
Qalandars were stuttering at 100 for six in the 15th over despite a breezy 31 with five boundaries from skipper Brendon McCullum at the start of the innings.
An unbroken stand of 55 between Mohammad Rizwan (32) and Sohail Tanvir (22) helped Lahore set Karachi a challenging target. Shoaib Malik was the pick of the bowlers claiming two for 21 while Usama Mir’s took two for 38.