With both teams containing several Pakistan national team stalwarts such as Babar Azam, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim, there were plenty of intriguing battles on show.
It was Pakistan all-rounder Faheem Ashraf who impressed in the first-half of the match with figures of 3-26 as Islamabad restricted Karachi to 143-6.
Here, we take a closer look at Faheem’s bowling display for defending champions Islamabad United.
RUNS CONCEDED: 26
Introduced into the attack in the fifth over of the powerplay, Faheem wasted no time in making an impact by getting the better of the dangerous Colin Ingram with only his third delivery.
The Pakistan all-rounder wreaked further havoc with his next over where he dismissed Liam Livingstone and Karachi skipper Imad Wasim off consecutive deliveries. The right-armed medium pacer could have had a fourth scalp had Sahibzada Farhan not put down a chance off Aamer Yamin in the deep before he closed out the Karachi innings with a tight final over.
OUT! Short from @iFaheemAshraf and @CAIngram41 fails to time it well. Islamabad United have another wicket. Kings are 27/3 after 5 overs— Cricingif (@_cricingif) February 23, 2019
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details 👉 https://t.co/ygrmnBL1hZ #IUvKK #PSL2019 #KhelDeewanoKa #CricketForAll pic.twitter.com/U2ZkPanlvn
Kept it simple and stuck to the basics. He might not be blessed with tearaway pace to trouble the batsmen but Faheem’s approach of bowling wicket-to-wicket paid off handsomely in the dismissals of Livingstone and Imad.
Both the batsmen lost their stumps while trying to guide the ball down to third-man with Faheem getting his radar absolutely spot on.
The medium-pacer also bowled an excellent final over with two set batsmen in Ben Dunk and Yamin in front of him. Faheem only conceded four runs from the first five deliveries before Dunk squeaked in a boundary off the final ball.
OUT! @iFaheemAshraf bowls @liaml4893 (22) and @simadwasim (0) on consecutive deliveries and Karachi Kings are 77/6 in the 15th over— Cricingif (@_cricingif) February 23, 2019
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details 👉 https://t.co/ygrmnBL1hZ #IUvKK #PSL2019 #KhelDeewanoKa #CricketForAll pic.twitter.com/q0V68onM44
Not much to fault in Faheem’s efforts on the night with the all-rounder’s performance being head and shoulders above the other Islamabad bowlers. He did, however, bowl a little too short at times and was duly punished by the batsmen on those rare occasions.
VERDICT – 8/10
It is no coincidence that Islamabad fare better when Faheem performs with the ball. In each of the two previous victories by the defending champions in the 2019 PSL, the all-rounder picked up a two-wicket haul.
On Saturday, his three-wicket haul was central to Islamabad tying down Karachi’s formidable batting unit to a respectable total. On a night when Pakistan stars such as Babar, Shadab and Imad were on display, it was Faheem who stole the show with a disciplined bowling performance.
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