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Babar, spinners put Karachi on board

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Babar, spinners put Karachi on board (4:34)

Karachi Kings registered their first win of this year's PSL, beating the defending champions Islamabad United by eight runs by the DLS method (4:34)

Karachi Kings 75 for 4 (Babar 47*, Irfan 2-7) beat Islamabad United 90 for 8 (Dwayne Smith 29, Mir 2-10, Imad 2-15) by eight runs (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

In a nutshell

Karachi Kings registered their first win of this year's PSL, beating the defending champions Islamabad United by eight runs (D/L method). In a game severely disrupted by rain at the Sharjah Cricket Ground, Karachi won the toss and elected to bowl. Both teams must have watched the first game, evidenced by XIs replete with spin bowlers to exploit a slow, turning pitch.

Barring a couple of sixes that Dwayne Smith muscled over long-on, Islamabad wasted much of the Powerplay and by the time rain returned after 7.1 overs, they were struggling at 34 for 2. With the game reduced to 13 overs a side, Misbah-ul-Haq's men had no option but to tee off right from the resumption of play. However, they struggled to do so and aside from a poor penultimate over from Mohammad Amir that went for 18, Karachi's disciplined bowling performance kept Islamabad to 90 for 7.

In response, Chris Gayle mistimed the third ball he faced to third man, his early trudge back becoming a familiar sight in the PSL. With no one else in his side getting to double-figures, Babar Azam played a sensational innings, blitzing an unbeaten 47 off 30 balls. Mohammad Sami and Shadab Khan were spanked for 18 and 14 in their solitary overs as the 22-year old opener ensured Karachi were ahead of the D/L par score. When the final, decisive shower mercifully put the day's cricket out of its misery, Babar had done enough.

Where the match was won

Islamabad will consider themselves unlucky to have lost this game. The weather's unpredictability meant the toss was always going to be important, and it didn't go Misbah's way. Put in to bat, they lost the hero of the last match Sam Billings for a golden duck, as an arm ball from Imad Wasim trapped him plumb in front. Brad Haddin's departure forced Misbah and Smith to consolidate but their work was ruined by another spell of rain. By the time play resumed, they were well behind where they needed to be and a late flurry was exactly that: too late.

The men that won it

Babar may get most of the plaudits for his sublime innings, but the win was set up by outstanding bowling contributions from Karachi's spinners Imad and Usama Mir. Imad piled on the early pressure by sending Billings and Haddin back early, while Mir was brave in the later stages of the innings, tossing the ball up and extracting substantial turn with his legbreaks. Combined figures of 6-0-25-4 were a just reward for their efforts.

The moment of the match

With Gayle dismissed cheaply and Karachi's chase in need of guidance, Kumar Sangakkara was expected to build on the 65 he made against Lahore Qalandars on Thursday. But Mohammad Irfan had other ideas. Lumbering in, he bowled a superb yorker from a release point that must have been close to 10 feet high. It was also close to unplayable, and it snuck under Sangakkara's bat and crashed into the base of off stump.

Where they stand

Islamabad slip to fourth after their defeat, falling behind Lahore on net run-rate with both teams level on four points. Karachi are at the bottom of the table, with this being their only win in four games so far.