Sunday Mar 08, 2020
Ben Dunk on Sunday went berserk for a second time in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020, scoring a whirlwind 99 off 40 balls — similar to his blitzkrieg against Quetta Gladiators earlier this week — to help Lahore Qalandars upset Karachi Kings by eight wickets at Gaddafi Stadium.
The bald Australian walked in when the score was 50-2 in the 9th over and the Qalandars, chasing 188, were staring at another defeat.
With captain Sohail Akhtar by his side, Dunk soon started his six-fest and slugged his team back into contention and on their way towards their second-straight win.
He hit 12 sixes, improving his own PSL record of most sixes hit in an innings.
Akhtar, who had opened the innings, also justified his captain's role for the first time, contributing an unbeaten 46-ball 68, but more importantly getting out of the way and letting Dunk rag-doll Karachi bowlers.
Earlier, Alex Hales had staked his claim as Karachi Kings' most important player as his 80-run knock helped his side recover from a difficult position and set a sizable 188-run target for Lahore Qalandars.
With Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Cameron Delport and Iftikhar Ahmed all gone, Hales formed a clutch 94-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Chadwick Walton (45 off 20) to help Karachi post a total that had seemed pretty difficult at one point.
Hales' 80 needed just 48 balls and featured 6 fours and 5 maximums.
The Englishman's innings saw him overtake Azam as Karachi's highest scorer in PSL 2020. It is pertinent to mention here that Hales, in his five innings in the tournament so far, has contributed in double figures each time, with his lowest score being a pair of 29s.
While Hales and Walton were brilliant, their cause was helped by some naive and wayward death bowling by Lahore bowlers, who leaked 72 runs in the final 5 overs as Karachi went from 115-4 from to 187-5.