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Imad and Mir knock Islamabad out

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Highlights - Imad and Mir knock Islamabad out (3:42)

Defending a total of only 126, the two Karachi Kings spinners took a combined 6 for 42 to bowl Islamabad United out for 82 (3:42)

Karachi Kings 126 (Raees 4-25) beat Islamabad United 82 (Imad 3-18, Mir 3-24) by 44 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

In a nutshell

For a team that won the title last year by playing their best cricket when it really mattered, this was the meekest of surrenders in the biggest of games. Islamabad United whimpered out of the tournament, failing in a chase of 127 and handing the record for the lowest total successfully defended at the PSL to Karachi Kings.

Misbah-ul-Haq's men put in a lion-hearted bowling performance, but were rather timid with the bat. On a slow and low pitch where strokeplay wasn't entirely easy, they lost two early wickets and slipped into their shell. The attempts to consolidate in the middle overs was unconvincing, the response to unerringly accurate bowling from spinners Imad Wasim and Usama Mir was ugly, and the chastening defeat to end the defending champions' campaign was inevitable.

To think they had begun the match with back-to-back maidens. Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Irfan bowled to their strengths early on, keeping the length short and beating the batsmen for pace and bounce. No Karachi player could muster any sort of meaningful contribution. Left-arm quick Rumman Raees took three wickets in a sensational 19th over as Karachi collapsed from 122 for 5 to 126 all out.

Where the game was won

Although he walked out to bat in the third over of the chase, Misbah, arguably, was in his comfort zone. He has restored calm in far more frenzied situations before. After all, the target in front of him wasn't huge and the required-rate was barely even threatening. But, just as Islamabad began looking comfortable, Imad bowled Misbah with a special little slider and there was no looking back. Eight out of 10 Islamabad batsmen fell for single digits as the Karachi spinners Imad and Mir - with combined figures of 6 for 42 in eight overs - defied the dew in Sharjah

The men that won it

When he was dismissed for 14 in the first innings, Imad had a run-in with Raees, unhappy at what he thought was unnecessary provocation from the bowler. Clearly, he needed to vent and did so against the Islamabad batting line-up, his trademark wicket-to-wicket sliders besting the defences of Misbah, Shane Watson and Nicholas Pooran and fetching him the Man-of-the-Match award.

Sweet revenge

Karachi's 126 was the lowest total defended in two seasons of the PSL. They will find that particularly gratifying considering the part they had played in setting up the previous record - failing to chase 133 against Islamabad in 2016.

The margin of victory - 44 - was also the largest - in terms of runs - at his year's tournament. Meanwhile, Islamabad's unravelling put the seal on only the second time a team has been bowled out under 100 in the PSL. The other instance took place last month when Lahore Qalandars were bundled out for 59 by Peshawar Zalmi.

Moment of the match

Kumar Sangakkara already has a shot at being remembered for taking the catch of the PSL when he leapt high to his right to dismiss Cameron Delport in Karachi's match against Lahore last week. On Wednesday, he may well have bettered that effort.

With Mohammad Amir bowling over the wicket, and Smith getting a thick outside edge, the only chance of a wicket seemed to rested with Chris Gayle at first slip. But he was backing away from the ball. He was forced to because Sangakkara had launched himself to his right, showing off reflexes not seen often among 39-year olds - and pulled off a one-handed screamer.

It was a catch that stuck - at the very end of his webbing too - but Sangakkara deserved extra credit for having the presence of mind to bring his left hand over to steady the ball that was in his right before he hit the ground. The fact that it didn't pop out was testament to the Karachi captain's quick thinking under high pressure. Smith, Islamabad's most prolific batsman in 2017, was gone for 8. Not long after, his team, too, succumbed.

Where they stand

Islamabad find themselves out of the PSL. Karachi go through to the second eliminator, to face Peshawar for the right to compete in the final against Quetta Gladiators in Lahore on March 5.