Hard-hitting batsman Asif Ali took Islamabad United to victory in the first eliminator of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season four against Karachi Kings on Thursday at the National Stadium Karachi.
Ali struck a 10-ball 24 to see his team home. There were useful contributions from Hussain Talat (32), Cameron Delport (38) and Alex Hales (41), but the joy of taking one’s team across the line belonged to Asif. His pivotal role during the death overs while facing Muhammad Aamir, Usman Khan Shinwari and Aamir Yameen proved decisive in the game.
United successfully chased down a target of 162 set by Imad Waseem-led Karachi Kings in the last over. Kings’ Umer Khan took 2-16 in the losing cause.
Fast bowling sensation Muhammad Musa with his three-for-42 restricted the feared Karachi Kings batting attack to 161 in the must-win match.
Kings started with a fiery start courtesy knocks by Babar Azam (42) and Colin Munro (32). But all it required was a breakthrough by Musa who took Munro’s wicket to halt the building momentum.
Livingstone and Ingram provided brief middle-order support but were soon taken down by Shadab Khan and Musa respectively.
The in-form batsman Ingram scored 23 off 16 before leaving the crease.
Faheem Ashraf picked two wickets in the death overs to ensure no substantive resistance emerges from the lower-order. Rumman Raees and Shadab Khan picked one wicket each.
United will now face Peshawar Zalmi in the second eliminator on March 15 (Friday). The winner of this match will face Quetta Gladiators in the final on March 17 (Sunday).