Karachi Kings 196 for 7 (Akhlaq 51, Imad 45, T Tahir 40, Talat 2-24) beat Lahore Qalandars (Talat 25, Javed 2-8) by 86 runs
Having already qualified for the play-offs, Lahore Qalandars rested their captain Shaheen Shah Afridi and lost their final league game to Karachi Kings but that won’t worry them so much as the fact that Rashid Khan had to retire hurt, having been hit on the helmet. Qalandars are due to face the big-hitting Multan Sultans in the Qualifier on Wednesday and they’d really prefer going into that game with their ace legspinner in fighting form.
Far removed from those concerns though, the Kings were able to celebrate just their third win of the tournament, which took them off the bottom of the points table. Muhammad Akhlaq, after a poor first two seasons in 2021 and 2022, struck his first PSL half-century. An innings of 51 off 36 balls that set the Kings up for the final flourish provided by the captain Imad Wasim (43 off 31) and Ben Cutting (33 off 14). They were able to put up a total of 196 for 7 after choosing to bat in Lahore, with Tayyab Tahir also contributing a sprightly 40 off 23 balls at No. 3.
The Qalandars’ chase went nowhere as they lost their top order inside the powerplay and continued to collapse. They were 79 for 7 when Rashid had to retire hurt at the end of the 15th over. He’d got hit in the 14th, trying to pull a James Fuller bouncer, but continued batting after receiving medical attention. Things seemed okay, especially when Rashid was able to hit the first ball after taking the blow, for an emphatic boundary over square leg. But he couldn’t go on for much longer.
The KIngs’ bowlers enjoyed as good a time as their batters with Imad, Akif Javed, Mohammad Umar and Imran Tahir all picking up two wickets a piece.