Fantastic Fakhar slams ton as Lahore Qalandars ease past Karachi Kings in PSL

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Fakhar Zaman plays a shot (L) and waves his bat after making a century during the PSL match at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on Sunday night. AFP

Fakhar Zaman’s first century in cricket’s Pakistan Super League (PSL) propelled Lahore Qalandars to a six-wicket win over Karachi Kings on Sunday night, and Islamabad United started its campaign by inflicting a crushing nine-wicket defeat on Peshawar Zalmi.

Left-handed opener Fakhar made 106 off 60 balls and anchored Lahore to 174-4 with four balls to spare as Karachi had its third straight loss.

The toss didn’t go in favour of Karachi skipper Babar Zaman for the third successive game and his team, despite Sharjeel Khan’s 60, was restricted to 170-7 in its 20 overs.

Shaheen-PSL Babar Azam plays a shot during the PSL match between Karachi and Lahore. AFP

Fakhar controlled Lahore’s chase by hitting 12 boundaries and four sixes as Karachi’s bowling looked ordinary in the absence of injured Mohammad Amir, who is yet to feature in the tournament due to side strain.

“I try to think of it as one ball at a time and I don’t try anything significantly different,” Fakhar said. “I am becoming more aware of my role at the top of the order.”

Fast bowler Umaid Asif picked up 2-30 but the other two pacers — Mohammad Ilyas (0-43) and Lewis Gregory (0-32) — failed to pose any threat to Fakhar.
Asif dismissed Fakhar with Lahore needing only seven off the last seven balls when he attempted an upper-cut against a slow bouncer and was caught at third man.

Samit Patel finished off the game by hitting Gregory for two successive boundaries as Lahore recorded its first win after losing to defending champion Multan Sultans.

Karachi-Lahore-PSL Babar Azam plays a shot during the match at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi. AFP

Earlier, Sharjeel and Babar (41) provided an ideal platform of 84 runs in the first 10 overs but Karachi’s middle-order couldn’t capitalise in the second half of the innings.

Sharjeel was undone by Mohammad Hafeez who clean bowled the batter with a delivery, which turned sharply. Babar was bowled by Rashid Khan’s sharp googly and Haris Rauf picked up 3-33 to restrict Karachi’s total.

Associated Press

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