Mohammad Amir defended 14 runs in the Super Over against Multan Sultans in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 Qualifier to guide Karachi Kings to their first-ever final of the tournament.
In the nail-biter played at the National Stadium, the left-arm pacer gave away only nine runs as his immaculate bowling denied boundaries to Sultans’ batsmen.
Kings’ made 13 runs as Shane Rutherfold smoked Sohail Tanvir for a four and a six after Sharjeel Khan was caught at long-on on the third ball.
Sultans have another chance of progressing to the final as they play the winner of the Eliminator 1 in the Eliminator 2 on Sunday evening.
That the match had to be decided on the Super Over was because of Sohail as he sent Babar Azam and Chadwick Walton back to the hut in a span of three balls in the 17th over to spark a collapse.
Kings were on their way to a comfortable run chase before Babar, who stroked his 45th T20 half-century, was caught-behind on the third ball. Following the dismissal, Kings slipped to 135 for eight from 117 for three.
Kings needed seven runs off the last over with Mohammad Amir and their captain, Imad Wasim, at the crease. Sultans’ pacer Mohammad Ilyas gave away only two runs in the first five balls – and dismissed Amir on the second ball – before Imad, who scored a fighting 16-ball 27 not out, flicked the ball off his legs at the backward square leg for a boundary.
In their pursuit of 141, Babar provided Kings a solid start with a brilliant 65 off 53, which was studded with five fours and two sixes.
He stitched a 42-run partnership with Alex Hales (22 off 19, four fours) for the second wicket after Sharjeel Khan (four of seven) was dismissed early in the proceedings. Babar then stitched 29-run and 27-run alliances with Iftikhar Ahmed (13 off 12) and Imad.
Sohail took three wickets for 25 runs and his exploits with the ball followed a blistering 25 not out of 13 balls.
That Sultans bowlers had something to bowl at was largely due to Sohail’s late onslaught which brought 28 runs off the last two overs, including 19 off the last six balls. The 35-year-old struck two sixes and a four.
Sultans were dealt with blows earlier in their innings as they had Adam Lyth, Shan and Rilee Rossouw back in the hut inside the powerplay overs. When Rossouw was run not on the third last powerplay delivery, the scorecard read 36 for three.
Their problems compounded with the dismissal of opener Zeeshan Ashraf, who scored 19-ball 21, five balls later.
An 40-run stand between Bopara, who made 40 from 31 balls, and Khushdil Shah (17 off 21) provided stability to the Sultans innings before the latter was dismissed by Arshad Iqbal.
Arshad returned two for 21 as he took the prized wicket of Shahid Afridi, who made run-a-ball 12, in the 17th over.
For Kings’ Waqas Maqsood was the other bowler who took two wickets.
Scores in brief:
Karachi Kings beat Multan Sultans in Super Over
Multan Sultans 141-7, 2o overs (Ravi Bopara 40, Sohail Tanvir 25 not out, Zeeshan Ashraf 21; Arshad Iqbal 2-21, Waqas Maqsood 2-26)
Karachi Kings 141-8, 20 overs (Babar Azam 65, Imad Wasim 27 not out, Alex Hales 22; Sohail Tanvir 3-25)
Player of the match – Babar Azam (Karachi Kings)