PSL 8: Munro’s fifty leads Islamabad United to beat Kings

Islamabad United’s play with the ball this season has been out of the ordinary; often they are frugal on the powerplay, but this time they went for runs. They have scored 56 runs in the first six overs, averaging only 6.38 runs per over. So let’s give respect to the Karachi openers, who took low-risk shots that paid off handsomely with a powerplay.

Islamabad needed to slow down the scoring pace and this six-over phase was precisely what they wanted as Karachi only managed to score 35 runs at slightly less than a run per ball in the first six overs, which were controlled by Karachi.

Islamabad United beats Karachi Kings

The following six overs were controlled by Islamabad. The intention of Karachi must have been to hold onto as many wickets as possible in order to launch a continuous attack in the last overs, which they were able to achieve as they scored 99 runs in the final 8 overs of their innings to give themselves 190 to defend.

Also Read: PSL 8: Islamabad United beats Karachi Kings, PSL Season 8 Match 19

Unlike the last match, this 190 could be held due to the performance of Abu Dhabi pitches. After the conclusion of the 12th over, Babar Azam and Najibullah Zadran were 42(34) and 13(17), respectively. Both batters had used a total of 51 balls when they realized it was time to shift into high gear. As designated batsmen, they understood it was their responsibility to help Karachi reach a total that they could defend.

Zadran caused Islamabad the most damage, scoring 58 runs in 25 balls at 13.92 runs per over while Babar Azam contributed 39 runs in 20 balls at 11.7 runs per over. Karachi added 99 runs in the last 48 balls, and Zadran was the one who saw to it that they were scored. The two changed up their game throughout their innings, which was essential for Karachi but also provided Islamabad with a blueprint for how to bat on this surface.

Also Read: PSL 8: Lahore Qalandars beat Quetta Gladiators by 17 runs, PSL Season 8 Match 18

Islamabad began the chase rather slowly; typically, they break the back of the pursuit in the first six overs, but they were up against Amir, who has been effective in the powerplay and poses a real danger to take wickets, as well as Waqas Masood. Islamabad United took their time and adopted Karachi’s strategy from the first inning. Just 72 runs were scored in their first 10 overs, and the needed run rate—which was 9.55 at the outset of the chase—had increased to 11.9 runs per over.

The fact that Ifthikar was batting on 14 (14), and Munro was at 33 (28), meant that Islamabad was now in a good position. The partnership scored 119 runs in 52 balls at a rate of 13.8 runs per over throughout the rest of the chase, reaping the rewards of being set. After only scoring 30 runs in boundaries in the first half of the chase, the pair amassed 84 runs in boundaries alone in the second half.

Also Read: PSL 8: Peshawar Zalmi Beat Karachi Kings by 24 runs, PSL Season 8 Match 17

Munro added 55 runs in 28 balls at a rate of 11.8 runs per over to go from 33(28) to 88(56). Nevertheless, Ifthikar Ahmed made a significant change in gear, going from 14 (14) to 71 (39), and adding 57 runs in 25 balls at a rate of 13.7 runs per over. Although Karachi may have thought they had a chance (and they did for a time), Islamabad was aware that their strong batting lineup and capacity to switch up their approach would still make a chase when the needed rate is hanging around 12 a possibility.

Following this victory, Islamabad United officially qualified for the playoffs, becoming the first team in HBL PSL 6 to accomplish so with two group-stage matches remaining. Hence, Islamabad has a few alternatives, one of which is to allow Faheem Ashraf additional time to heal from his injury.

Also Read: PSL 8: Lahore Qalandars beat Islamabad United by 110 runs, PSL Season 8 Match 16

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