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Kings on the verge of elimination after seventh successive loss

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Islamabad United were hamstrung by injuries to Shadab Khan and Zeeshan Zameer – the former was off the field without bowling even an over while the latter bowled only 1.3 overs before walking off in a lot of pain. Despite that, they were able to remove the Karachi Kings top order quickly after they posted a sizeable 191/7. A rampaging partnership of 108 runs off 52 balls between Imad Wasim (55 off 28) and Qasim Akram (51* off 26) for the sixth wicket got the Kings close to the elusive victory. But with eight needed in the final over, the Kings shot themselves in the foot and are on now the verge of elimination after slipping to their seventh successive loss.

Sharjeel Khan’s 29-ball 44 kept the Kings’ hopes alive in the chase even as Babar Azam and Joe Clarke fell in quick succession at the start of the chase. But the advantage was with the United when Sharjeel and Mohammad Nabi fell in the same over to Asif Ali after Waqas Maqsood sent Sahibzada Farhan back, leaving the Kings at 80 for 5. Imad Wasim and Qasim Akram revived the chase with their attacking partnership, bringing down the equation to 24 off 12 deliveries. Hasan Ali, who bowled the penultimate over, ended up going for 16, with Akram scoring two fours and to bring up a 25-ball fifty while Wasim also took as many deliveries for his half-century, getting there with a maximum.

With eight needed in the final over, Wasim played a dot, scored a four before giving the charge and falling to Maqsood. It eventually came down to 2 required off the final delivery as Maqsood, who bowled a wide and conceded a single, had Jordan Thompson bowled off his fifth delivery. Chris Jordan was run out off the last ball having been put down by the bowler as the Kings suffered a heart-breaking loss that will soon put them out of the reckoning in the tournament.

Earlier, a collective effort powered the United innings after they were asked to bat. While Shadab Khan (34 off 26) and Alex Hales (25 off 19) put on a 43-run partnership for the second wicket that steadied United’s innings after they lost two wickets inside the first four overs. Azam Khan and Liam Dawson came up with useful contributions but the Kings also struck at regular intervals and had left United at 137/6 in the 16th over. However, Faheem Ashraf (29 off 10) and Asif Ali( 28 off 11) ensured that United posted a big total, one that proved well beyond the Kings’ reach.

United held on to their third spot with eight points from their four wins in seven games. They are now two points away from the second placed Lahore Qalandars while Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi are fourth and fifth respectively with both tied on six points. All teams have played seven matches each and the Kings will soon become the first team to be officially eliminated. Once the game between the Gladiators and Zalmi on Tuesday gets over, four teams will have eight points or more while the Kings can only get a maximum of six in their remaining matches.

Brief scores: Islamabad United 191/7 in 20 overs (Shadab Khan 34, Faheem Ashraf 29*; Imad Wasim 2-30) beat Karachi Kings 190/8 in 20 overs (Imad Wasim 55, Imad Wasim 51*; Waqas Maqsood 3-34) by 1 run.

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