LAHORE, Pakistan, March 8, 2020 (SNN247.com) – Ben Dunk unleashed his big-hitting side yet again as Lahore Qalandars thumped Karachi Kings in the first leg of the El-Clasico of the Pakistan Super League 2020 at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Sunday.
Ben Dunk Shines for Lahore Qalandars
It was Australian basher Ben Dunk who smashed 12 hits out of the park to strike it at 247 runs per 100 balls as Karachi Kings bowlers toiled hard at the spacious Gaddafi Stadium in front of a packed crowd.
Ben Dunk Hits Most Sixes in a PSL Innings
It was a new record in the history of HBL Pakistan Super League as Player of the Match Ben Dunk broke his own best of hitting 10 sixes in an innings to smash 12 maximums.
|Ben Dunk||Lahore Qalandars||12||Karachi Kings||PSL 2020|
|Ben Dunk||Lahore Qalandars||10||Quetta Gladiators||PSL 2020|
|Umar Akmal||Lahore Qalandars||8||Quetta Gladiators||PSL 2016|
|Sharjeel Khan||Islamabad United||8||Peshawar Zalmi||PSL 2016|
|Kevin Pietersen||Quetta Gladiators||8||Lahore Qalandars||PSL 2017|
Sweet Revenge for Ben Dunk
Interestingly, Ben Dunk’s best came against the side which released him this year. The Aussie basher represented Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League 2019. The franchise decided against retaining him for this year’s edition, which means the Aussie took out his grudge against his previous side for not posing trust in his abilities.
PSL El Clasico
It was a Lahore-Karachi battle, also called PSL El Clasico, that lived up to the expectations. In front of the packed Gaddafi Stadium, the home side brought its A-Game when it mattered the most.
PSLV Opens Up on Points Table
The victory against Karachi Kings has elevated Lahore Qalandars to the fifth position on the points table. Defending champions Quetta Gladiators, after losing four matches on the trot, are now languishing at the last place. However, all is not lost for any team in the competition just yet as all the six franchises have the chance of finishing in the top-four.
Multan Sultans, however, have already qualified for the PSLV Playoffs after securing 11 points from their seven matches in the season.
Peshawar Zalmi have nine points from seven matches, Islamabad United have seven points from nine matches, Karachi Kings have seven points from seven matches, Lahore Qalandars have six points from seven matches, and Quetta Gladiators have six points from eight matches.
The situation has made the final few matches of the league golden for all the participating franchises as one win or defeat can make or break their campaign in the Pakistan Super League 2020.
Alex Hales Shines with the Willow Again
Karachi Kings smashed 5/187 from their 20 overs, thanks to yet another brilliant half-century by English player Alex Hales (80* off 48 – 6 fours, 5 sixes) and an aggressive cameo by West Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Chadwick Walton (45 off 20 – 2 fours, 5 sixes). Babar Azam (38 off 29 – 6 fours) also looked classy as ever before mistiming one of his favorite shots at the extra cover of Maaz Khan.
Sharjeel Khan (5 off 8 – 1 four) was left to curse his overweight body and his slow legs after he failed to complete an easy run. Iftikhar Ahmed (1 off 2) was also caught short of his ground whereas Cameron Delport (15 off 13 – 2 fours) looked in good touch before losing his wicket in pursuit of quick runs.
Shaheen Afridi (4-0-36-0) remained wicketless, so as Samit Patel (4-0-24-0), however, both bowled decent spell with the new ball that never allowed Karachi Kings off to a boisterous start.
Maaz Khan Proves His Mettle
Young bowler Maaz Khan (4-0-31-2) was belted hard for 17 runs in his first over but the youngster made an impressive comeback by taking two key wickets, giving away only 14 runs in his next three overs.
Usman Shinwari | A Waste of Talent
Usman Shinwari (3-0-44-0) remained a huge disappointment with the ball as he was smashed all across the park by the Kings’ batters. David Wiese (1-0-11-0) was used for a single over whereas Mohammad Hafeez (2-0-11-0) wad decent with the ball. Salman Irshad (2-0-28-1) also failed to impress with the ball as he couldn’t land the ball in the right areas.
Fakhar Zaman Failed Yet Again
Chasing 188 runs was never going to be easy for any side and Lahore Qalandars needed a strong start. However, they got off to a disastrous start as their key basher Fakhar Zaman (Duck) was clean-bowled by Mohammad Amir.
Mohammad Hafeez (16 off 24 – 1 four) dug deep to spend a good bit of time in the middle but only when he was supposed to use the long handle, he threw his wicket away to Umer Khan.
Sohail Akhtar-Ben Dunk Show
It all came down on to the shoulders of inexperienced skipper Sohail Akhtar (68* off 46 – 6 fours, 2 sixes) who decided to take the long route in absence of major support from his senior pros. Fortunately, Sohail Akhtar found the perfect partner in Ben Dunk (99* off 40 – 3 fours, 12 sixes) who struck it at a strike rate of 247.50 runs per 100 balls.
Together the pair resurrected Lahore Qalandars from a position of 2/50 after 8.2 overs to a highly-inspiring victory by eight wickets with five balls to spare.
Karachi Kings must be ruing losing Aamer Yamin (1.1-0-9-0) right at the start of his spell. Apart from Mohammad Amir (4-0-33-1), no other bowler could make a difference for Karachi Kings. Sohail and Ben enjoyed complete authority over all the Karachi bowlers.
PSL V | Next Fixtures
The second leg of the PSL El Clasico will be played at National Stadium in Karachi on March 12. The scintillating action of Twenty20 cricket will be absent on Monday in the Pakistan Super League 2020. Lahore Qalandars will host Peshawar Zalmi in their next match on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.