Karachi Kings reach their first-ever PSL final

Zohaib Ahmed Majeed

Karachi Kings have qualified for their first-ever PSL final, thanks to a thrilling victory over Multan Sultans in Qualifier at the National Stadium that needed a Super Over to find the winner.

The Kings, after winning the toss and opting to bowl first, dominated pretty much from the start, restricting Multan to a lowly 141-7 and were bossing the run chase when they suddenly suffered an inexplicable meltdown in the 17th over when their captain Babar Azam got out. 

From 117-3, they slumped to 135-7, requiring captain Imad Wasim to bail them out, which he did, hitting a four off the final over to force a Super Over.

In the tie-breaker, Karachi set a 14-run target, which Mohammad Amir successfully defended, thanks to some shrewd death bowling.

The Kings will play the winner of Eliminator 2 tomorrow. The Sultans, meanwhile, will get another chance to make the final tomorrow.

End of live blog.

Super Over

Multan 8-0 after 1 over: 6 needed off 0 ball. Amir bowls a brilliant Super Over to win the match for Karachi.

Mohammad Amir will bowl the Super Over for Karachi. Rilee Rossouw and Ravi Bopara to bat for Multan.

Karachi Kings have set a 14-run target for Multan Sultans courtesy a six and a four by Rutherford.

Karachi Kings 13-2 in Super Over

Karachi Kings will bat first in Super Over.

Sohail Tanvir will bowl the over for Multan. Sharjeel Khan and Sherfane Rutherford to bat for Karachi.

141-8 after 20 overs: 5 needed off 1 over and Imad Wasim smacks a four. There is a reason why he is the captain of the franchise.

A Super Over will be needed to decide the winner.

135-7 after 19 overs: Karachi Kings have crumbled in front of our eyes. Wayne Parnell is run-out. The very next ball, captain Imad Wasim smacks a six off of Tanvir to remind how close this match is. He hits another four off the final ball to keep Karachi in the hunt.

Six balls left, seven runs needed. Ilyas to bowl the final over.

123-6 after 18 overs: Rutherford gone as Imran Tahir picks up the wicket. Multan on top now. 

Now 19 needed of 2 overs with Imad Wasim Karachi's only hope.

119-5 after 17 overs: Chadwick Walton holes out at long on. Second wicket of the over for Tanvir.

Sherfane Rutherford 0 (1) Imad Wasim 9 (8)

117-4 after 16.4 overs: Babar Azam (65 off 53) will not be able to steer his team to their first PSL final. He nicks one back to the keeper. Sohail Tanvir gets the prized wicket. Is it too late or do Multan still have a chance?

116-3 after 16 overs: Just 26 needed off four overs.

107-3 after 15 overs: Babar smacks Afridi for another six. The new darling of Pakistan cricket showing zero respect to old darling of Pakistan cricket.

Babar Azam 59 (47) Imad Wasim 6 (5)

Just 35 needed off 30. The match is all but over, barring a miracle.

96-3 after 14 overs: Yet another half-century for Babar Azam.

90-3 after 13 overs: Not content by being dropped by Khushdil Shah, Iftikhar (13 off 12) dances down the track the very next ball and skies it up. The catch is taken by Shan Masood. 

Captain Imad Wasim is next man in.

82-2 after 12 overs: Iftikhar breaks his bat in the over. In other notable event, the least threatening of Multan's bowlers, Ilyas, almost picks up the wicket of Babar. The lbw appeal looked close, a review was taken and even tough the ball was heading for the bails, it was pitched outside the off stump.

Afridi vs Babar next.

77-2 after 11 overs: Babar pulls Afridi for a six. Had it been slightly mistimed, he'd have been caught at deep midwicket boundary but it wasn't.

Babar Azam 44 (35) Iftikhar Ahmed 4 (5)

66-2 after 10 overs: The day of freak run-outs produces another. Babar Azam smashes a shot straight to bowler Khushdil, who drops the catch bu the ball goes on to hit the non-striker's stumps. Alex Hales (22 off 19) was out of his crease.

61-1 after 9 overs: Babar Azam 34 (28) Alex Hales 22 (19)

53-1 after 8 overs: Khushdil's first over goes for just three runs. It's not easy to get runs against spin on this wicket.

50-1 after 7 overs: Just 92 needed of 78 balls.

46-1 after 6 overs: While Babar is using delicate touch and timing for his boundaries, Hales is opting for power. Twin fours for the Englishman as the Kings tighten their grip on match.

Alex Hales 12 (9) Babar Azam 29 (20)

37-1 after 5 overs: Three fours off the over - two by Babar, one by Hales. Run chase looks to be in control.

Alex Hales 4 (4) Babar Azam 28 (19)

24-1 after 4 overs: And just like that, Sharjeel vanishes. A pull finds Imran Tahir at deep square leg. The South African takes a decent running catch and makes a show of it as he always does. 

Alex Hales walks in.

19-0 after 3 overs: Babar hits a carbon copy of the boundary in last over. The Kings seem keen on taking no risk early on and saving those wickets for the time being.

10-0 after 2 overs: A tidy over by Sohail Tanvir ruined on the last ball as Babar smacks a low-risk four.

The 7'1 Mohammad Irfan to bowl the 3rd over.

4-0 after 1 over: Quiet first over. No risk taken.

0-0 after 0 over: Babar Azam and Sharjeel Khan to open the innings, Adam Lyth to bowl the first over.

Story at the break: Multan Sultans batted as if they knew they would have a second chance to qualify for the final even if they lose this one. Horrible running between the wickets, ill-timed and mistimed shots and generally lethargic display saw them suffer setbacks at regular intervals. None of their batsmen, perhaps with the exception of Ravi Bopara, managed to middle the ball cleanly. A late flurry of boundaries in the final over saw them somehow post an okay-ish target on a wicket that does not look very easy to bat on and a ground that has long boundaries.

141-7 after 20 overs: The last over of the innings proved to be the best as Tanvir smashes two sixes and Ilyas finds boundary. 

Nineteen off it in total as Multan manage a target that is better if you consider how deep a hole they were in at one point. But zoom out and it looks pretty paltry, pretty gettable for Babar Azam and co.

Mohammad Ilyas 5 (6) Sohail Tanvir 25 (13)

122-7 after 19 overs: Sohail Tanvir 12 (9) Mohammad Ilyas 3 (4)

113-7 after 18 overs: Bopara (40 off 31) hits the most pretty looking six and gets caught the very next ball. With him, Multan's final hope of putting together a decent total dies.

The tail has been fully exposed, although Sohail Tanvir is known to smash a few on his day.

Sohail Tanvir 5 (5) Mohammad Ilyas 1 (2)

104-6 after 17 overs: Afridi finally connects and hits a six but gets caught the very next ball. A paltry 12-ball 12 for him. On what we just saw, would this be his last PSL?

95-5 after 16 overs: Afridi showed all of his 40 years in this over, struggling to find runs against bowlers he would routinely smash out of the park in his prime. He now has just six runs off 10 balls.

91-5 after 15 overs: Five singles again. Afridi tries to free his arms but does not connect. He is (at least) 40 years old, after all.

Ravi Bopara 32 (27) Shahid Afridi 4 (5)

Strategic time-out taken.

86-5 after 14 overs: Five singles off the over. A rarity when Afridi is at the crease.

81-5 after 13 overs: Khushdil loves hitting medium pacers such as Arshad Iqbal out of the park. Unfortunately, this time he gets caught. Just 17 off 21 for the hard-hitting left-hander this time.

The great Shahid Afridi is at the crease. Amir to bowl the next over.

78-4 after 12 overs: A massive six by Khushdil, who comes out dancing on the track multiple times in the over but does not find room to free his arms again.

69-4 after 11 overs: Bopara smokes three boundaries off Parnell. Some welcome runs for Multan. 14 off it.

Ravi Bopara 23 (15) Khushdil Shah 8 (14)

55-4 after 10 overs: Khushdil Shah 7 (13) Ravi Bopara 10 (10)

50-4 after 9 overs:

44-4 after 8 overs: Runs have dried up due to the leakage of wickets. 

Khushdil Shah 3 (7) Ravi Bopara 3 (4)

41-4 after 7 overs: And we've jinxed it. Zeeshan (21 off 19) tries to clear the long on boundary but holes out. Imad Wasim with the wicket. 

Khushdil Shah is in earlier that he'd have liked.

38-3 after 6 overs: Rossouw out! A bad call leaves Rossouw in no man's land. He contributes just 5 runs off 9 balls as Multan are officially in trouble. Walton, the keeper, with sharp work again. 

Ravi Bopara joins Zeeshan, who will now have to bat till the end to dig Multan out of this hole.

Zeeshan Ashraf 20 (17) Ravi Bopara 1 (1)

34-2 after 5 overs: Wayne Parnell drops Zeeshan. Maqsood looks on in agony as he is denied his second wicket but doesn't say much. He's mixing up his pace well.

Rilee Rossouw 4 (6) Zeeshan Ashraf 18 (15)

A certain Arshad Iqbal will bowl the next over.

26-2 after 4 overs: Shan Masood out to a freak incident. Zeeshan plays a straight drive off of Amir, who leaves his left foot dangling. The ball deflects his foot and goes straight to the non-strikers stumps. Shan (3) was outside his crease. 

23-1 after 3 overs: Lyth (9 off 7) nicks one back to Chadwick Walton, who takes a brilliant diving catch. Maqsood picks up his and Karachi's first wicket.

Captain Shan Masood is the next man in. A slip is put in place but only for the new man.

18-0 after 2 overs: Lyth flicks Amir for a pretty looking six over deep square leg. 

Two lefties batting, two left-arms bowled the first two overs and the third to be also bowled by southpaw Waqas Maqsood. Lefties everywhere.

8-0 after 1 over: Two boundaries in the opening over - neither in control and Zeeshan could have been out caught, had fielders been in the right place.

Mohammad Amir to bowl the second.

0-0 after 0 over: Imad Wasim to bowl the first over. Zeeshan Ashraf and Adam Lyth to open the innings.

2:58pm: A minute's silence is observed and prayer said for the late Karachi Kings coach Dean Jones who passed away recently. The players combine to form a D in his memory as well.

2:56pm: Come this way if you've forgotten what had happened in PSL 2020 before Covid crashed the party back in March.

2:48pm: Karachi fans look away. PSL presenter Zainab Abbas as well as analysts Waqar Younis and Sana Mir are all rooting for a Multan Sultans victory.  

2:42pm: Playing elevens:

Karachi Kings: Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan, Alex Hales, Wayne Parnell, Chadwick Walton, Imad Wasim, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sherfane Rutherford, Mohammad Amir, Arshad Iqbal, Waqas Maqsood

Multan Sultans: Zeeshan Ashraf, Adam Lyth, Shan Masood, Rilee Rossouw, Ravi Bopara, Khushdil Shah, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Ilyas, Imran Tahir, Mohammad Irfan

2:35pm: Kings captain Imad Wasim wins the toss and opts to bowl first.

2:33pm and no toss yet. Just PCB things!

2:28pm: Watch this Mortal Kombat style promo for the match:

2:26pm: While the cricket fans sitting at home are excited, those out on the Karachi streets are not. 

READKarachi commuters vent due to traffic jams caused by PSL security

2:23pm: We're minutes away from the match toss.

1pm: It's roughly 2 hours before the PSL 2020 resumes after eight months.

Here is a recap of what had happened in PSL 2020 before Covid came calling back in March.

PSL 2020: Karachi Kings edge Multan Sultans to reach their first final