Asif Ali hit a blistering half-century to steer Islamabad United to a hard-fought five-wicket win over Karachi Kings in PSL match 18 in Dubai on Wednesday.
But Karachi Kings did fight in the penultimate over, with 11 needed. Mohammad Amir conceded only four to leave seven off the final over bowled by Imad Wasim. Imad conceded a single off the first ball but Shadab Khan lifted him over long-on for a huge six to clinch the victory.
Karachi Kings were lifted to 168-8 by Babar Azam (68) and a rapid-fire 31-ball 56 from Liam Livingstone after they were put into bat by Islamabad United.
Asif smashed six sixes and five boundaries in his fiery knock and added an invaluable 93 for the fourth wicket with Phil Salt (46) to bring Islamabad within 49 of the target. They built the innings after teenage left-arm spinner Umer Khan (2-29) jolted Islamabad with wickets of Luke Ronchi (26) and Hussain Talat (one) in the seventh over.
Islamabad's win also changed the points table as they are now perched top of the six-team table with eight points from seven matches, four wins and three losses with a better net run-rate than Quetta Gladiators.
Babar smashed two consecutive boundaries in the first over and batted more aggressively with Livingstone with whom he set the PSL record of 157 for the opening wicket in Karachi's first wicket.
Livingstone hit a four and six each off Samit Patel and then Faheem Ashraf before completing his second half-century of the tournament off just 29 balls.
But once he fell, caught at short third man off Shadab the flow of runs stopped.
Raees dismissed dangerman Colin Ingram for 13 and Imad Wasim for two to check Karachi's progress.
Babar also holed out off Faheem in the penultimate over. Karachi managed just 34 in the last five slog overs.