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Rauf roars as Qalandars knock Kings.

Summary: Karachi Kings retained faith in the same line-up that won against Multan Sultans.

James Jose

(File photo)

A fired up Haris Rauf scythed through the Karachi Kings to hand Lahore Qalandars their first win in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Saturday night. The greenhorn pacer, who came through the Qalandars' Players Development Programme, snaffled four wickets - two from three balls and the other two off successive deliveries - following a brief rain delay at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, to script a 22-run victory in Pakistan's own 'El Clasico.' Karachi Kings retained faith in the same line-up that won against Multan Sultans, while the Lahore Qalandars Hardus Viljoen come in for West Indian Carlos Brathwaite, who left the squad because of international commitments.

With a fairly green surface greeting the teams, Karachi Kings captain Imad Wasim has no qualms in sending in the Lahore Qalandars after calling right. And his decision was vindicated with the Qalandars restricted to 138 for six despite a bright start.

Openers Fakhar Zaman and Sohail Akhtar laid a good platform with 64 for the first wicket but once the duo left, the Qalandars suffered a blip of sorts.

Their marquee signing AB de Villiers failed to fire, becoming greenhorn left-arm spinner, the 19-year-old Umer Khan's second victim.

Then, two run outs by Sikander Raza and Wasim to see the backs of Viljoen and captain Mohammad Hafeez left the Qalandars on 127-5. And it was soon to be 127-6 after Anton Devcich departed after the Kiwi had made a scratchy 28 from 30 balls. Akhtar's 25-ball 39 was to be their top score. Umer, playing only his second T20 game, took two for 25. Left-arm quick Shaheen Shah Afridi gave the Qalandars the ideal start by having opened Liam Livingstone castled. But Babar Azam, the No.1 T20 batsman in the world, and Mohammad Rizwan added 47 for the second wicket and then Rizwan and Colin Ingram put on 30 for the third. Once Ingram was bowled by Afridi, a small shower stopped play briefly with the Kings on 90-3. The momentum shifted towards the Qalandars after Rauf snapped two wickets, those of Ravi Bopara and Rizwan, from three deliveries. And he atoned for the reprieve to Rizwan off Afridi a little earlier. And the redemption was complete as he went on to scalp Wasim and Sohail Khan off consecutive balls. Brief scores: Lahore Qalandars: 138-6 in 20 overs (Sohail Akhtar 39, Anton Devcich 28, Fakhar Zaman 26, Mohammed Hafeez 14, Brendon Taylor 13, Umer Khan 2-9) beat Karachi Kings: (Mohammad Rizwan 34, Babar Azam 28, Imad Wasim 17, Colin Ingram 16, Haris Rauf 4-23, Shaheen Shah Afridi 2-20) by 22 runs. Man of the Match: Haris Rauf (Lahore Qalandars).

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Feb 17, 2019
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