Sami five-for helps Islamabad United seal final berth

Mohammad Sami scythed through Karachi Kings’ lower order in the PSL eliminator in Dubai © Chris Whiteoak

Change of captaincy did little to change the fortunes of Karachi Kings as they went down by nine wickets to Islamabad United in the PSL eliminator at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday evening.

A top order wobble proved too costly as they slipped and slid to a below par 111 for 9 after being sent in to bat. Islamabad lost Sharjeel Khan early, but two of their experienced overseas professionals – Dwayne Smith and Brad Haddin – made light work of the target, winning with 34 balls to spare. Along the way, they also sounded out a note of caution for the Sarfraz Ahmed-led Quetta Gladiators, their opponents in the grand finale.

That only three Karachi batsmen managed to get into double digits summed up the plight of the side that was led by Ravi Bopara after Shoaib Malik sensationally stepped down as captain on match eve.

That Karachi were lifted out of the hole they found themselves in at 39 for 4 was courtesy Bopara, who top scored with a fighting 37 before Mohammad Sami scythed through the lower order to finish with incredible figures of 5 for 8 off his four overs.

Sohail Khan gave Karachi a boost upfront as Sharjeel fell for 9 in the fourth over, but Smith, playing in only his second PSL game, drove the chase forward in Haddin’s company; the former Australia wicketkeeper playing the role of an aggressor, hitting an unbeaten 52 off just 29 balls courtesy four fours and three sixes. Smith finished 50 not out as Islamabad, who began the tournament slowly, appeared to have revved up their engine when it matters the most.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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