Karachi were going to have to change things round to have a chance of winning, after losing the toss and being put into bat. Every game before this one had been won by the team winning the toss and batting second.

Two very good teams were on display, with a Pakistan favourite Shaheen Shah Afridi opening the bowling, he had both Sharjeel and Babar dropped in his first 2 overs, much to his disgust. But, he clean bowled Babar 2 balls later and Karachi were 20 for 1.

Joe Clarke joined Sharjeel and struggled against the pace of the quicks to start, as Haris Rauf bombarded him from the other end, he did hit a 4 from the final ball of the over however.

Joe Clarke was then run out, by a mile, the umpire was fully in line but still sent the decision to a review, a great throw by Haris and Clarke was gone for just 4, Colin Ingram was then clean bowled for a Golden Duck by Daniyal! Karachi were 37 for 3 in the 5th over. Sharjeel took runs from Hafeez in the 6th over and helped take Karachi to 66 for 3 after 8.

Sharjeel brought his 50 up with a huge straight 6 from the bowling of David Wiese,he followed up with a 4, to take his score to 58 and Karachi to 86 for 3 at the halfway point.

Samit Patel was brought on to bowl and conceded 21 runs with Nabi hitting 2 huge sixes! That moved Karachi to 107 for 3. With Sharjeel on 62 from 36 and Nabi 29 from 18.

Sharjeel was indone bu a Wiese ball, he didn’t get enough on it and was caught on the boundary by Samit Patel, out for 64 and Karachi were 113 for 4 after 12.1 overs. Nabi moved on to 53 from 32 and made the most of another Wiese over. The commentators discussed the wisdom of holding Shaheen back rather than using his 2 overs to despatch the man making runs.

With 5 overs remaining Haris Rauf came back into the attack, Dan Christian hit a 4 from his first ball, HIs 3rd ball at 149km, was a bouncer and hit Christian’s glove before flying over the keeper’s head for 4 runs. Rauf took the vital wicket of Nabi however, having him caught by Sohail for 57. Karachi were 158 for 5 with 4 overs remaining. Samit Patel despatched the captain, Imad for a Golden Duck and Karachi were 162 for 6 after 16.1 overs. A nice reverse sweep from Maqsood resulted in a boundary, key runs at this point of the game.

Shaheen, who has to be the best T20 bowler in the world right now, came on for the 18th over. He reviewed a potential caught behind on his second ball, that went straight through without touching a thing, it was clear it hadn’t touched a thing, I have no idea why the third umpire took so long to decide?

However Dan Christian was run out attempting to take a second run that was never on, a bad wicket to fall for Karachi. They were 176 for 7 with 2 overs remaining. A brain freeze from Christian! Two lower order batsmen had to see the final 2 overs out against the Lahore quicks.

The score moved to 183 for 7 with an over remaining. A good spell for Haris Rauf, 1 for 32 from his 4 overs. Shaheen bowled the final over – he clean bowled Maqsod for 12 on the 3rd ball of the over. Karachi were 184 for 8 with 3 balls remaining. Amir then tried a weird reverse shit and knocked the ball onto his own stumps, out for a Duck! Shaheen finished with 3 for 27 and Karachi with 186 for 9.

Amir opened the bowing for Karachi, Fakhar and Sohail the batting. Remarkably Sohail was run out without facing a ball, a great under arm throw from Imad. Just the start Karachi needed. Lahore were 0 for 1 after 4 balls. A fired up Amir clean bowled Joe Denly for a Golden Duck. the start couldn’t have been better for Karachi! That was a shout at the TV moment for me!

Hafeez, who is in fine form came in next, just the man Lahore needed after that start! Lahore were 0 for 2 after the first over. Hafeez and Fakhar steadied things and Lahore moved to 15 for 2 at the end of the 3rd over. Hafeez hit a beautiful straight 6 from the final ball of Ilyas’s second over to take Karachi to 32 for 2 after 4 overs.

Hafeez didn’t have a long stay however as Babar took a great catch from the bowling of Maqsood, he was out for 15 and Lahore were 33 for 3 in the 5th over. Ben Dunk came to the crease. Fakhar started to accelerate, he was 25 from 19 and Lahore 46 for 3 after 6 overs.

Lahore were 77 for 3 after 10 overs, Fakhar on 41 from 29 and Dubnk 18 from 21. It was at this stage that an over from Samit Patel went for 21. Nabi bolwing the 11th over gave just 8 runs. Lahore needed a big over from somewhere, Karachi needed a wicket.

Fakhar moved to his 9th PSL 50, putting his hand up for a place in the Pakistan T20 line up. Ben Dunk hadn’t had the best tournament up to this point, but he moved to 32 from 29, A full toss from Nabi was hit to the boundary by Fakhar. A 4 from the final ball of the over took Lahore to 109 for 3 after 13 overs. The pendulum was swinging to Lahore.

Karachi needed to make a change bowling wise to break the partnership up, A huge straight 6 from Dunk took him to 41 and Lahore to 127 for 3 after 14 overs. The game was running away from Karachi.

A decent 16th over from Dan Christian, left Lahore requiring 43 from 24 balls. At this point Amir came back into the attack, 7 from the over and 50 up for Dunk, left Lahore with 36 needed from 18 balls. Advantage Lahore,

A slow ball from Dan Christian saw Fakhar caught by Babar – he’d played a great innings, but was out for 83 from 54. Lahore were 152 for 4 with 16 balls remaining.

At this point I had a family zoom call, so missed Amir’s final over, David Wiese had made an immediate impact hitting a boundary from the bowling of Christian. Amir certainly didn’t finish as he started, his first ball went for 4, the second just a single, but that left the big hitter, albeit a new batsman at the crease. Wiese top edged the 3rd ball for a 4, the 4th went under the keeper from an inside edge for 4. I would at this point say that Joe Clarke rarely keeps wicket in England, he wasn’t a factor for the 5th ball, Wiese hit a mighty 6! The final ball went for just a single, but the game was won and lost in this over.

10 from the final over was a breeze with these 2 at the crease, Dunk finished on 57 from 43 and Wiese with 31 from 9. A win for Lahore by 6 wickets. 11 games played, 11 games won by the team winning the toss and batting second. Congratulations Lahore!

In England the commentary was great through this match, David Gower and Danny Morrison in particular!

Star Man – FAKHAR

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