LAHORE: Right-handed opener Muhammad Akhlaq struck a magnificent half-century on debut before Imad Wasim’s blistering 45 propelled Karachi Kings to 196/7 against Lahore Qalandars in the last group fixture of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season eight.
Opting to bat first, the Kings’ batters dominated the depleted Qalandars’ bowling attack as the visitors piled up a massive total on the scoreboard after some collective effort.
Earlier, the Kings got off to an unwanted start as opening batter Haider Ali fell in the first over after managing to score eight off five deliveries.
Following the early setback, debutant Akhlaq alongside Tayyab Tahir scripted their side’s recovery as the pair added 70 runs to the total at a quick pace.
Tayyab, who was looking solid to bring up his second half-century of the season, fell 10 runs short as Hussain Talat broke the crucial partnership in the eighth over. He scored a quick 40 off just 23 deliveries with four boundaries and a six.
Talat then struck again in the same over as he dismissed Qasim Akram (2) to dent the Kings’ flying start; restricting them to 83/3 in eight overs.
Following back-to-back dismissals, skipper Imad joined Akhlaq in the middle and settled things down for his side with a brief fourth-wicket partnership with the latter bringing up his half-century in 34 balls.
Akhlaq, however, could not stretch his brilliant knock and fell to Haris Rauf in the 13th over. He top-scored for the Kings with 51 in 36 balls, hitting five boundaries and two sixes.
Imad then changed gears after Akhlaq’s departure and charged on the Qalandars’ bowlers amid his vital 52-run partnership with Ben Cutting.
The captain carried on his sublime form to score a blistering 45 in 31 deliveries, laced up with six boundaries before Zaman castled him in the 18th over.
Cutting then thrashed Haris all over the park in the 19th over to bolster the total at the backend before falling in the same over after an important cameo of 33 in 14 deliveries, featuring two boundaries and three sixes.
Later, all-rounder James Fuller’s unbeaten 10 runs in five deliveries, made sure the Kings post a defendable total.
Zaman, Haris and Talat led the bowling attack for the Qalandars with two wickets each, while Dilbar made one scalp.