Defending champions Karachi Kings and two times PSL champions in 2016 and 2018 Islamabad United played a thriller match last night.
Karachi Kings scored 196 runs for the loss of just four wickets. Sharjeel Khan scored his second PSL century, as he scored 105 runs from 59 balls. He scored his maiden century, ironically, for Islamabad United in the very first season of PSL in the eliminator against Peshawar Zalmi.
Alongside with Sharjeel was Babar Azam, who scored 62 runs from 54 balls. Together, Sharjeel and Babar Azam put on a record 176 runs for not just for the first wicket, but for all wicket stand in PSL’s history. In the end, the Karachi Kings managed only 196, despite going 10 runs per over at most of the time.
As many expected, Islamabad United would win it because of all five results of the first five PSL matches. Teams winning the toss elected to field first have won the target chasing down the total with ease. Alex Hales smashed 29 runs in Aamir Yamin’s solitary over. Mohammad Amir, the most experienced bowler, bowled poorly and conceded 44 runs, the most in the match.
So where did exactly Karachi Kings lost the match? In the opening of their innings? Or at the end of the innings? Or was it the bowling? Let’s take a look.
PSL Analysis: Where exactly Karachi Kings lost the match?
We will start from the opening part of the Karachi Kings’ innings.
Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam started the first four overs with a score of 21 runs. Babar did most of the job, scoring 16 from 12 balls. Sharjeel however, scored only 5 runs from 12 balls he faced. Out of the 24 balls they played, 15 of them were dot balls. That sums up the start.
Next, we look at the powerplay. Until then, they managed only 33 runs with Babar scored 27 from 19 balls and Sharjeel still finding his feet, stuck at 6 runs of 17 balls. The dot balls summed up to 21 dot balls in 36 balls.
Before Sharjeel actually kicked off scoring, the Karachi King were 45 in 7.4 overs. Again, Babar led with 33 from 26 balls with Sharjeel at 21 from 22. Until this moment, the Karachi Kings played 23 dot balls. Sharjeel alone played 14 dot balls out of 23. This is the result of the start from the Karachi Kings.
If the opening innings was about settling down, then the death overs was supposed to be finishing off high. But Karachi Kings just spoiled that moment as well. Only four boundaries in the last 4 overs and just 33 runs in the last four overs. By then it was still Babar and Sharjeel until the 18th over when Karachi were 176.
From overs 17th and 18th, Karachi managed 19 runs. 13 of them came in the 18th over and 6 runs in 17th over. The lack of finishing the game also let down Karachi.
The bowling will also come is this case. Many would say Aamir Yamin’s one over, which went for a PSL record 29, is the difference. I would say otherwise. The fast bowling leader, Mohammad Amir, conceded 44 runs in his four overs. There were many loose balls from him and he conceded 27 runs in his final two overs.
Then Imad Wasim, who begin the first over with a wicket and conceded only eight runs, gave over to Aamir Yamin for his second over. It was indeed a strange decision, considering Imad is more of a powerplay bowler where is more successful.
Another question in bowling is the late introduction of Mohammad Nabi, who was easily the best bowler in the whole match. He conceded only 26 runs in his four overs and picked one wicket. But he was introduced in the 12th over and Husnain Talat and Iftikhar Ahmed had settled down.
Though the winner would have been Islamabad United the moment they won the toss as it has been the case this PSL, the Karachi Kings would have made broke the jinx had they been more proactive in their batting. No score under 200 was safe. The starting was surely a problem, but Karachi Kings should have posted a target of around 215.
There was no doubt the opening was the issue. To score only 33 runs in the powerplay is a crime, considering the powerplay was made to take matters into the hands. Islamabad United were 77 by the end of the powerplay, 44 more runs ahead than their counterparts. And that 44 runs is a major difference.
Where do you think Karachi Kings actually lost?