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PSL: Mohammad Sami picks up 5 wickets as Islamabad United crush Karachi Kings

887   //    21 Feb 2016, 01:00 IST
Sami rolled back the years with a five-wicket haul that set up the victory for United

Islamabad United’s veteran duo of Mohammad Sami and Brad Haddin proved that the T20 format was not just for the youngsters with brilliant individual performances to help their side beat Karachi Kings by nine wickets in the 2nd qualifying final on Saturday. They will now face Peshawar Zalmi for a spot in the final of the inaugural edition of the PSL against Quetta Gladiators. 

Sami rolled back the years with an outstanding spell of bowling that ripped through the heart of the Kings batting while Haddin completed the job for his side with a quick-fire half-century that avoided any nervousness that might have crept in while chasing a low total on a tricky pitch. 

Much of the headlines prior to the contest related to the news that Kings skipper Shoaib Malik had stepped down following his side’s disappointing performances in the group stages. Islamabad also made a bold call dropping Saeed Ajmal from the playing eleven while Andre Russell was declared match-fit. 

New Kings skipper Ravi Bopara, however, didn’t have luck with the coin as  Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss for Islamabad and he opted to field first. That decision might have been influenced by the fact that he would have had to contend with the dew factor later on with two spinners in the side, but the faster bowlers, especially the now 34-year-old Sami, showed that he still had the quality in him which made him a dreaded bowler during his prime. 

Kings got off to a good start scoring 20 runs off the first three overs before Sami claimed his first wicket of the day dismissing Riki Wessels after the Australian missed the ball completely while attempting a wild slog towards the leg side. Sami returned late on to bag four more, including the scalps of Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate in the same over after the pair had put on a 49-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

Bopara top-scored for Kings with 36 while only Simmons and Ten Doeschate managed to reach double figures apart from the skipper. Shoaib’s hopes that getting the burden of captaincy off his shoulders might help his form did not pay dividends as he was dismissed for nought by Sami’s new ball partner Mohammad Irfan. 

Eventually, Kings could only muster 111 in their 20 overs as all the United bowlers registered economical figures to give handy support for Sami.

Chasing a low score might have been tricky as Peshawar found out against Quetta in the 1st qualifying final on Friday, but Brad Haddin ensured that there was no reason to worry with his blistering unbeaten knock of 52 from just 29 balls. The usually destructive Dwayne Smith was happy to play second fiddle as the former Australian wicketkeeper went hammer and tongs at the hapless Kings bowling. 

Both Haddin and Smith registered half-centuries as the opposition were clueless as to how to get rid of the in-form batsmen. Eventually, United cruised home with more than 7 overs to spare. Sharjeel was the only batsmen to be dismissed as Misbah’s men completed the run-chase with nine wickets in hand. 

Brief scores: Karachi Kings 111/9 off 20 overs ( Bopara 37, Simmons 19; Sami 5/8) lost to Islamabad United 115/1 off 13 overs (Haddin 52*, Smith 50*; Sohail Khan 1/25) by nine wickets. 

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