United 123/7 in 20 overs
Kings 127/4 in 14.5 overs
DUBAI February 26: Chris Gayle finally arrived at the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) party as his whirlwind 44 off 17 balls including five sixes and two fours gave Karachi Kings a six-wicket win and a place in the tournament play-offs that start with a clash between Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators on Tuesday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Gayle laid the foundations of the Kings’ chase with his exhilarating knock; the T20 legend had endured a series of failures leading up to the game, he was dropped from the game against Lahore Qalandars before returning to the eleven for the match tonight.
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Gayle hit three sixes in one Saeed Ajmal over before falling to the spinner two balls later.
After his departure Kings stuttered for a bit as Kumar Sangakkara, Shoaib Malik and Babar Azam perished in quick succession.
The match was settled in Kings favour by the hero of the win against Qalandars Kieron Pollard (20) and Ravi Bopara (11) the two kept abreast with the required rate in the closing stages to secure the victory. Young leg-spinner Shadab Khan bowled his heart out claiming three wickets for only 13 runs in his three over spell.
Kings win gave them the third spot on the play-offs at the expense of the Qalandars who miss out on the last four for the second successive time in as many HBL PSL seasons. United were pushed to the fourth spot after their defeat.
Earlier a 49 run innings by Dwayne Smith helped United reach 123 for seven in their allotted 15 overs after match was reduced due to persistent rain and a wet outfield. Once play started United were put on the back foot as Sangakkara won an important toss.
Other than Smith’s innings, United struggled for quick runs; Ben Duckett was dismissed for 16 while Hussain Talat chipped in with 11 runs.
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Brad Haddin struck a quick-fire 20 off 12 balls to help his team add some quick runs towards the end of their innings, Misbah contributed 12 off seven with one six as United managed to give Kings a competitive total in the shortened game.
Mohammad Amir, Sohail Khan and Usama Mir took two wickets each for United.