Alex Hales. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Two struggling units came head-to-head in Rawalpindi and it was the Karachi Kings who ended up emerging victorious in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL). England’s discarded opener Alex Hales and skipper Imad Wasim shone with the bat as they made a tricky run chase look spectacularly easy. The Kings still remain in the bottom two after this win, but they’ll be hoping to build on this.

The two-time champions Islamabad were put in to bat after the Kings had won the toss earlier. The batting team lost Colin Munro early on for just 1, but Luke Ronchi ensured his side didn’t remain on the backfoot. Ronchi’s outstanding run with the bat helped Islamabad clinch the title in 2018 and his knock on the day seemed like a throwback to that amazing season for United.

He stitched a couple of important partnerships after the early wicket and got to his half-century. He added 49 and 26 runs for the 2nd and 3rd wicket respectively before skipper Shadab Khan joined him. At one stage it looked like they will achieve a score in excess of 170, but the duo played some brilliant attacking cricket towards the end and propelled their side to a big total.

Shadab Khan completed a half-century and the duo added 106 runs unbeaten for the 4th wicket as Islamabad posted 183 runs batting first. Ronchi remained unbeaten, registering a 58-ball 85. Skipper Shadab fired in with a 31-ball 54, which included 4 sixes and 3 fours. Left-arm spinner Umer Khan was pretty impressive, registering figures of 1/24 in his 4 overs.

Hales, Delport and Imad make a mockery of the run-chase

Although the boundaries were pretty short, to chase a score in excess of 180 is still quite a task in this format. The Kings needed a quick start and they got it from Sharjeel Khan. However, before Sharjeel got going, he was involved in a horrible mixup which led to Babar Azam getting dismissed for a duck without facing a ball. Yet, he kept playing some attacking cricket and was amply supported by Alex Hales.

The duo added 58 runs in absolutely no time before Sharjeel was dismissed in the 6th over. Yet, there was no opening for Islamabad to take control over things as Hales was joined by Cameron Delport to continue the good work. They knocked out all the possible threats and also ensured the required rate was kept in check. Their partnership accounted for 64 runs before Dale Steyn sent Delport packing.

Hales too was dismissed right after completing his half-century and things got a little intense for a while. A couple of quick wickets didn’t help the Kings but Imad Wasim came out and blasted a 15-ball 32, which ensured they finished the game with no further drama and 8 balls to spare. Alex Hales was named player of the match for his impactful 30-ball 52.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to this win for the Kings: