Rawalpindi 3 March 2023:
Azam Khan struck a magnificent 72-run knock in the run chase and powered Islamabad United to seal a close six-wicket victory over Karachi Kings in the 19th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season eight.*
Opting to bat first, the Kings piled up a massive total against home side United in the must-win clash at the back of a scintillating 92-run knock by their captain Imad.
Earlier, the Kings were off to an unwanted start as Sharjeel Khan fell in the third over after managing to score just eight off six deliveries.
With their side rocked with an early setback, Adam Rossington and Tayyab Tahir launched a counter-attack on the United’s bowlers as the pair stitched a brief yet effective partnership for the second wicket; raising 37 runs in just 16 deliveries before the latter’s dismissal.
Tayyab looked to heave Tom Curran’s length delivery but ended up mistiming it straight to Hasan Ali at mid-off and walked back after scoring a brisk 19 off just eight balls.
The Kings were then jolted with a major blow as Rossington (20) and experienced batter Shoaib Malik (12) departed in quick succession; resulting in the Kings slipping to 78/4 in the ninth over.
With his side losing momentum, Imad stood up for his team and took on the United bowlers with his belligerent hitting all over the park.
The captain put on a terrific 99-run partnership with Irfan Khan Niazi and put his side in complete command to post a big total.
Imad was the core aggressor of the fifth-wicket partnership, while Niazi held his end firm before a spectacular teamwork catch by Hasan and Rassie van der Dussen dropped curtains on his vital 20-ball 30, which featured four boundaries.
Imad continued his onslaught after Niazi’s dismissal and received significant support from Matthew Wade, who scored 13 not out off six deliveries, to power Kings past the 200-run mark.
Imad top-scored for his side with an unbeaten 92 off 54 deliveries, hitting 11 boundaries and two sixes.
Curran led the United’s bowling attack with two wickets but was expensive, while Rumman, Faheem and Hasan struck out a batter each.