Karachi Kings sealed the final spot in the playoffs by beating the table-toppers Islamabad United. This win also means Karachi Kings finish second on the points table. They’ll face Islamabad United again in the qualifier on Sunday in Dubai. The winner of that match will qualify directly for the final in Karachi.
This was a must win game for Karachi Kings or they could still make it to the playoffs if they maintained a better net run-rate than Multan Sultans. Karachi made sure they didn’t let the situation slip out of hand at any time. They comprehensively defeated Islamabad United by 7 wickets. In pursuit of 125, Karachi weren’t troubled by United’s bowling attack. The in-form Babar Azam continued to pile on runs, he stayed not-out at 29 off 26. Joe Denly made 36 off 28 and Colin Ingram (31 off 30) also remained not-out. Faheem Ashraf, the leading wicket-taker this season, was once again clinical: he took 1 for 13 from three overs.
Earlier, Usman Khan Shinwari destroyed Islamabad’s batting line-up. He took 4 for 17 from four overs. The performance earned him the player of the match award. United’s batsmen struggled to get going right from the start. Asif Ali’s quick-fire 34 off 14 was the only highlight of their batting. Shahid Afridi took 2 for 18; Chadwick Walton was Afridi’s 300th wicket in T20s. Islamabad were all-out in the nineteenth over for 124.