Half centuries by Lendl Simmons and Shakibul Hasan, and a thrilling hat-trick by Mohammad Amir sealed the victory for the Karachi Kings in their first PSL league match on Friday at the Dubai International stadium.
Batting first, the Lahore Qalandars tally of 117 by the 19th over was modest at best, but then wonder-boy Amir’s bowling just took the wind out of their sails. In a whizzing three deliveries, Amir managed to get rid of Dwayne Bravo, Zohaib Khan and Kevon Cooper, bringing Karachi supporters in the stands to their feet, wild cheers ringing around the stadium. The Qalandars could just manage a total of 125 for 8 after that, a very achievable target.
The thrills were not over though. Karachi Kings then had a somewhat disastrous beginning when two of its opening batsmen fell at only four runs.
Simmons and Shakib quickly regained lost ground and had their team standing up soon, putting up an impressive partnership of 109 runs to steer the side to victory. Simmons was not out for 62, hitting 8 fours and 2 sixes.
Shakib hit 51 off 35 balls, with 3 boundaries and 3 sixes. He was named Man of the Match for his all round performance, as he had taken a wicket also in the first innings. More than that, he had been a stabilizing force on the pitch when his team needed it.
With many expected thrillers ahead in the PSL, it remains to be seen whether the Karachi squad will prove themselves kings of the jungle.