Pakistan Superleague 5 started on 20th February 2020 – today on 14th November 2020 the play offs started. The first between The Karachi KIngs and The Multan Sultans was for a place in the Final, with the loser going into the second elimination game. A look at the teams first:-

Karachi Kings

  • Babar Azam
  • Sharjeel Khan
  • Alex Hales
  • Wayne Parnell
  • Chadwick Walton (wk)
  • Imad Wasin (c)
  • Iftikhar Ahmed
  • Sherfane Rutherford
  • Mohammad Amir
  • Arshad Iqbal
  • Waqa Masood

Multan Sultans

  • Zeeshan Ashraf (wk)
  • Adan Lyth
  • Shan Masood (c)
  • Rilee Rossouw
  • Ravi Bopara
  • Khushdil Shah
  • Shahid Afridi
  • Sohail Tanvir
  • Mohammad Ilyas
  • Imran Tahir
  • Mohammad Irfan

Imad won the toss for Karachi and put Multan in to bat. I’ll come clean on things here and admit that I support Karachi, I have done since the start of PSL when both Ravi Bopara and Amir were in the team. Ravi has obviously moved, my support hasn’t.

Things didn’t go too well for Multan as they fell to 40 for 4 in the 7th over. Adam Lyth was caught by a flying effort from the bowling of Maqsood for 9; a piece of quick thinking by Amir saw poor Masood run out as Amir deflected a ball hit back at him, football style, Masood was run out with just 3 to his name. Rilee Rossouw had something of a brain freeze, running to a ball he’d hit, his partner rightly didn’t leave his crease and Rossouw was run out conventially for just 5. Captain Imad took the 4th wicket as Ahraf was caught by Alex Hales out on the boundary, he’d made 21 of the 40 runs on the board.

Multan Sultans needed a partnership and along came Bopara and Khusdil, they doubled the score for the 5th wicket before Khushdil was caught by Rutherford from the bowling of Iqbal, he’d contributed 17. Next in was Boom Boom Afridi, at 45 I’m not sure how much longer we’ll see this legend at the top, he hit a mighty 6 from the bowling of Iqbal but was caught the next ball by Hales for 12 and Multan were 101 for 6.

i’m always happy to see Ravi Bopara do well, but in this case I was also happy to see him leave, he made 40 from 31 balls before he was caught by Iftikhar from the bowling of Maqsood. Multan were 111 for 7 in the 18th over. A poor over from Wayne Parnell saw 19 runs scored as Sohail Tanvir scored a cameo 25 runsand Multan finished on 141 for 7.

It felt like Karachi should have made that total easily, but that would’ve been boring! One of the moments of the game came when 41 year old Imran Tahir caught Sharjeel; he took a great catch then posed with his head in a hand, it was the stuff of meme dreams, another was to come later in the innings. Sharjeel had scored just 4 and Karachi were 19 for 1. Amazingly Alex Hales faced the same sort of fate as Masood, This time Khushdil dropped a catch but the ball went back and hit the stumps, Hales was run out at the non-strikers end for 22, but Karachi were going along well on 61 for 2 in the 10th over. Iftikhar made only 13 before he was caught by Masood from the bowling of Afridi, Karachi were 90 for 3 in the 13th over. Babar had been batting beautifully as the wickets were falling around him.

It was mentioned that Babar has the highest number of T20 runs in 2020 and he added another 65 to his tall. He is quite simply a beautiful batsman to watch, announced at the test captain by Pakistan in the last week, he adds that to his role in the white ball teams too, hopefully that won’t be detrimental to his batting.

Babar wasn’t able to see his tram over the line, his was the 4th wicket to fall as he was caught by Ashraf from the bowling of Tanvir. at 117 for 4 in the 17th over things were getting tight. Karachi lost their next 4 wickets for just 17 runs and it was the time for a captains’ innings. Imad hit a huge six in the last over and with 5 needed from the final ball he hit a 4 to take the game to a SUPER OVER.

I mentioned a second meme moment, so must mention the dog that decided to join the game and settle himself down on the outfield – Dog Stopped Play – is an unusual one!

Having seen a few Super Overs since the Wporld Cup Final I understand now that the number of runs scored at Lord’s was unusual. Karachi batted first and Sharjeel and Rutherford who scored 5 between them in the main game, came to the crease. Sohail Tanvir took the ball. Sharjeel scored just 1 before he was caught by Rutherford. Rutherford faced 4 balls and hot a 4 and a 6, that added to a single and a wide took Karachi to 13.

To have Amir in your locker is always a good thing, and he proved that as he took the ball for Karachi. Multan sent out Rossouw and Bopara and in spite of 2 wide balls, Amir restricted them to 9 runs. Karach march into the final on Tuesday the 17th. With Dean Jones as one of their coaches before his tragic loss it would be perfect if they could win that trophy!

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