Islamabad United 178 for 6 (Munro 58, Azam 44, Amir 2-30, Musa 2-48) beat Karachi Kings 173 for 7 (Haider 59, Sharjeel 34, Raees 2-26, Wasim 2-38) by four wickets
Colin Munro’s 28-ball 58, backed up by a power-packed 28-ball 44 from Azam Khan, helped Islamabad United get their PSL 2023 campaign off to a winning start. On a surface full of runs, they overhauled Karachi Kings’ 173 for 7 by four wickets and ten balls to spare.
Sent into bat, Kings posted a competitive total, thanks to Haider Ali’s half-century. In reply, United lost Hassan Nawaz early to Mohammad Amir. Muhammad Musa then sent back Paul Stirling with a pinpoint yorker, but Munro crashed three fours in his first four balls and never really backed down.
Munro found an able ally in Rassie van der Dussen and the duo added 59 runs for the third wicket in 31 balls. Azam came in and made sure no momentum was lost as he and Munro smoked the Kings bowlers to all parts of the ground. The duo added 56 runs off 31 balls before a miscommunication resulted in Munro being run out.
Azam fell soon after when he failed to clear deep midwicket, but the required rate was well under control by then. It was Tom Curran who ended the game by spanking Shoaib Malik over wide long-on in the 19th over.
Earlier, it was a timely return to form for Haider, who scored his first PSL fifty in 17 innings. Rumman Raees had removed James Vince in the first over of the match but Haider found his bearings quickly. He opened his account with an imperious cover drive off Faheem Ashraf before picking up another boundary, off the same bowler, two balls later.
Sharjeel Khan started his boundary counter slashing Mohammad Wasim past point and then smashed Curran for two fours and a six in one over. That helped Kings reach 55 for 1 at the end of the powerplay.
Just when Sharjeel and Haider threatened to take the game away from United, Curran ended the 77-run stand by removing Sharjeel. The left-hander was expertly taken by Munro running in from deep midwicket. Matthew Wade struggled to get going, but Haider brought up his half-century off 38 balls.
However, United stormed back into the game, picking three for eight in the space of seven balls. Haider fell first, flat-batting a short-of-a-length ball to long-on. Mohammad Wasim then struck twice in two balls, sending back Wade and Imad Wasim.
United did manage to get a few important boundaries away, even as they lost wickets regularly, scoring 52 runs in the last five overs. Eventually, it wasn’t enough.