PSL 9: Karachi Kings win nail-biter, leaving Lahore Qalandars winless

Karachi Kings snatched a dramatic two-wicket win from the jaws of Lahore Qalandars in an electrifying clash at the packed Gaddafi Stadium, leaving the home side still searching for their first win in the HBL Pakistan Super League Season 9

The match, which kept fans on the edge of their seats until the very last ball, saw Karachi Kings' Kieron Pollard and Shoaib Malik steering their team towards the target after a shaky start. The game reached its climax when Kings needed one run off the final delivery, with Mir Hamza heroically edging the ball to the boundary, securing a hard-fought victory for his team. 

Kieron Pollard was the standout performer for the Kings, smashing a quickfire 58 from just 33 balls, embellished with one four and five sixes. Malik provided valuable support, contributing a steady 39 runs, knitted with three boundaries. The match closed with Irfan Khan and Mir Hamza at the crease, ensuring Karachi Kings reached their target of 176 runs. 

The Qalandars' bowling attack was led by Zaman Khan and Ahsan Hafeez, who both took two wickets, while the rest of the bowling unit, including skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi, Jahandad Khan and Haris Rauf chipping in with a wicket each.  

Earlier, Sahibzada Farhan's outstanding half-century, coupled with a significant contribution from the lower middle order, powered Lahore Qalandars to set a challenging target of 176 runs. Sahibzada Farhan led the charge with an unbeaten 72 off 45 balls, including four boundaries and an equal number of sixes, anchoring the innings as Lahore Qalandars reached 175/6 in their 20 overs.  

Despite losing Fakhar Zaman early for just 6 runs to Mir Hamza, Rassie van der Dussen added a valuable 26 runs before being trapped lbw by Tabraiz Shamsi. The middle order saw contributions from Ahsan Hafeez (8) and Jahandad Khan (12), both falling to the combined efforts of the Karachi Kings' bowlers. Shai Hope managed a quick 21 off 13 balls, but his dismissal alongside Sikandar Raza, who was out for a duck, momentarily halted the Qalandars' momentum.  

However, George Linde's late cameo of 26 not out off 13 balls ensured Lahore ended on a high note. Karachi Kings' bowlers had their moments with Mir Hamza and Hasan Ali each taking two wickets for 31 and 29 runs, respectively, while Shamsi also bagged a couple, conceding 42 runs in his spell.   

SCORES IN BRIEF  

KARACHI KINGS 176/8 in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 58, Shoaib Malik 39, M Nawaz 15, Irfan Khan 12*; Ahsan Hafeez 2-19, Zaman Khan 2-25) beat LAHORE QALANDARS 175/6 in 20 overs (Sahibzada Farhan 72*, George Linde 26*, Rassie van der Dussen 26; Hasan Ali 2-29, Mir Hamza 2-31, Tabraiz Shamsi 2-42) by 2 wickets.

Azhar Khan is an accomplished senior sports journalist with extensive experience in the field. He can be reached at azharmasood786@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at @azharmasood786

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