Match 2, PSL: Mohammad Amir's hat-trick steals the show as Karachi Kings thrash Lahore Qalandars
His off-field troubles aside, Mohammad Amir proved yet again why he is considered one of the best fast bowlers in the world as the 23-year-old bagged a hat-trick for Karachi Kings in their inaugural match in the PSL against Lahore Qalandars. Disciplined bowling by the Kings bowlers restricted Qalandars to a total of just 125 in their 20 overs, a target Shoaib Malik’s men chased down with more than four overs to spare.
Headlines were created even before the match started with the likes of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Umar Gul and Fawad Alam missing from the match despite considered good players in the shortest format of the game. The match was being build-up as a battle between Chris Gayle and Amir but it was not to be as the swashbuckling batsman was back in the pavilion before he could do some serious damage.
Malik, Shakib and Amir put the brakes on Qalandars
Amir might have proved the show-stopper for Kings but it was the skipper who got the key wicket of Gayle to prevent the opposition from getting off to a flying start. After winning the toss and choosing to field first, Malik took the onus upon himself to dismiss Gayle in the very first over as he enticed the West Indian to dance down the wicket and loft one to long on after he had hit the previous ball to the fence.
Qalandars never quite managed to recover from the early loss despite as their batsmen failed to build on to their starts. It was yet another spinner – Bangladesh’s Shakib Al-Hasan – who got the second wicket inside the powerplay overs, deceiving skipper Azhar Ali with an arm ball that rattled the stumps. Cameron Delport survived two close chances before he was run out for 17 after some good work in the field by Iftikhar Ahmed.
Mohammad Rizwan top-scored for the Qalandars with a knock of 37 while Sohaib Maqsood scored 22. The pair though couldn’t carry their bat towards the later part of the innings and the late Amir show ensured that the rest of the batsmen couldn’t do the damage either.
Bowling the 19th over of the innings, Amir picked up the wickets of Dwayne Bravo, Zohaib Khan and Kevon Cooper to bag the first hat-trick of the PSL, in just the second match.
Shakib’s all-round show; Simmons’ unbeaten fifty
The Kings started their reply shakily, losing the duo of Nauman Anwar and James Vince with just four runs on the board. The Kings would have been in dire trouble had Bravo, considered one of the best fielders on the planet, held on to a catch to dismiss Shakib. The Bangladeshi all-rounder, along with Lendl Simmons, made Bravo pay as he extinguished any hopes the opposition might have had of clinching an unlikely victory with classy half-centuries.
Just when it seemed as if the duo will play out the chase, Shakib was dismissed by Delport but it proved to be a mere consolation as Kings won by seven wickets with Shoaib Malik finishing off the match in style with a six. Simmons remained unbeaten at the other end on 62.
Brief Scores: Karachi Kings 131/3 off 15.5 overs (Lendl Simmons 62*, Shakib Al-Hasan 51, Zia-ul-Haq 1/7) beat Lahore Qalandars 125/8 off 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 37, Amir 3/27) by seven wickets