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Karachi Kings crowned PSL champions after Babar Azam 63*, stellar bowling display
Match Report

Karachi Kings crowned PSL champions after Babar Azam 63*, stellar bowling display

Babar Azam's fluent half-century steered Karachi Kings to their maiden PSL title win as they defeated rivals Lahore Qalandars by five wickets and eight balls to spare.

After being set a modest 135-run target, Babar shepherded his team's chase flawlessly to help them get across the finishing line and create history by becoming the fourth PSL franchise to gain possession of the coveted title.

The slow nature of the National Stadium surface meant sixes were hard to come by as a total of two maximums were hit in the entire match, both of them occurring in the Qalandars' innings.

Babar thus kept his nerve by refraining from expansive drives and reckless slogs and motored along nicely to knock Qalandars out of the contest.

Although Lahore hit back with a few wickets late in the Kings' chase, the hosts were well on their way to completing a famous win.

Haris Rauf removed Iftikhar Ahmed and Sherfane Rutherford on successive deliveries in the 18th over but Karachi captain Imad Wasim prevented further damage being inflicted on his side.

The ace all-rounder was also at the fore when he struck Karachi's winning runs via a gentle push to find the boundary and spark raucous celebrations from the team's dugout.

For his stellar batting display adorned by seven boundaries and elegant strokeplay, Babar was given the man of the match award. He received the player of the tournament prize as well for ending as the leading run-getter in the competition.

The Qalandars' decision to bat first backfired as they failed to get the necessary fireworks to surge towards a challenging total.

Tamim Iqbal and Fakhar Zaman shared a 68-run partnership for the first wicket but both of them were unable to free their arms and launch big shots.

Intriguingly, Tamim was the top-scorer for his side with 35 but his feeble strike rate of 92.11 deprived the requisite momentum to post a big score.

Waqas Maqsood, Arshad Iqbal and Umaid Asif took two wickets as they outfoxed Lahore's batsmen with clever pace variations and short of a good length deliveries on the sluggish pitch.