Ajmal helps Islamabad clinch last-ball thriller

Islamabad United 132 for 8 (Latif 39, Sharjeel 28, Bopara 2-25) beat Karachi Kings 130 for 9 (Bopara 32*, Ajmal 3-27) by two runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

File photo – Saeed Ajmal’s three-wicket haul played a key role in Islamabad United’s tense win © AFP

Saeed Ajmal, playing only his second competitive match since November 2015, struck with his first ball and then produced a double-strike in his last over to help Islamabad United defend 132 against Karachi Kings in a last-ball thriller. With Karachi needing 16 off the last over, bowled by Shane Watson, Usama Mir was run-out off the first ball, which was called a wide. The next ball was sliced away for four by Mohammad Amir before Watson rebounded with a dot. The fourth ball of the over was bizarre: wicketkeeper Sam Billings hit the stumps, after Amir had backed away and failed to connect, but the bails refused to budge. Ravi Bopara then launched a six off the penultimate ball, but Watson held his nerve as Islamabad edged out Karachi.

This meant that Islamabad secured their first points in the Pakistan Super League, after two straight losses. Chasing 133, Karachi lost their openers within four overs. Imad Wasim, who had batted at No.7 in his previous match, was promoted to No.3, and put Karachi back on track with six fours. Wasim’s dismissal, however, sparked as collapse as Karachi fell from 35 for 2 to 87 for 7.

It was Ajmal who hastened the collapse with two wickets in three balls in the 15th over. He had Shakib Al Hasan holing out to deep square leg for 20 and then forced a leading edge off Saifullah Bangash. This left Karachi needing 46 off 30 balls with only three wickets in hand. Bopara, who had taken two wickets with his slow rollers and cutters, lifted Karachi with an unbeaten 32 in 19 balls, but couldn’t get his side over the line.

Earlier in the day, Islamabad had endured a collapse of their own. They gave away five wickets for only 19 runs. But impetus at the top, courtesy a 45-run partnership between Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif, and late blows from Mohammad Sami pushed Islamabad to 132, which eventually proved just enough.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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