The Multan Sultans on Friday defeated the Karachi Kings emphatically by 52 runs, registering their second victory at home in three days.
In their quest to chase down the Sultans’ 187-run target, Karachi Kings were 120/7 at the end of the 15th over. Their seasoned openers Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam were not able to come up with the goods as both were dismissed for 16 and 13 respectively.
Alex Hales chipped in with 29 runs off 21 balls before Shahid Afridi dismissed him with Shan Masood taking an exceptional catch. Delport and Walton were dismissed for 8 and 15 respectively by Imran Tahir to put the Kings on the back foot.
Karachi Kings captain Imad Wasim failed to play an impressive knock, scoring just 5 runs from 6 balls before Afridi sent him to the pavilion. Apart from all this there was a major concern and that was not giving a single over to young left-arm spinner Umer Khan.
The Karachi Kings Head Coach Dean Jones, in a press conference at the Multan Cricket Stadium in Multan on Friday, revealed that the wind and the plethora of left-handers in the Multan Sultans’ line-up was the reason why young left-arm spinner Umer Khan was not utilised in the bowling department.
“Hopefully Umer Khan will get more of a chance in the next game. The boys were a little worried about the wind and with a lot of left-handers hitting with the breeze. The spinners like Moeen and Iftikhar got hurt, it was the boys with the over spin who did well on this type of pitch. We have to get the balance a little bit more right against Islamabad,” Jones said.
Jones stated that the youngster would get a chance in the upcoming games to show his talents in the ongoing Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League (PSL) 5.
The Karachi Kings coach stated that his side was beaten in all departments while hoping for a change in fortunes in the remaining matches.
“We got beaten in the batting, bowling and fielding. Not much else can be said. It was a good pitch, none of our top four batted deep. We dropped catches and didn’t bowl in the right areas. We got beaten all over the place, just lacking a little bit of confidence and a little bit of rhythm at the moment. Hopefully it’ll happen soon,” he said.
The 58-year-old was baffled by the dropped chances despite working very hard on the fielding aspect of the team.
“If you come down and watch us train, I have hit thousands of balls. It just comes down to a little confidence at the moment. It always happens, when the guys start to score runs the fielding follows through. At the moment, none of our overseas batsmen have made any runs. That is leaking into the team. I can’t put my finger on why we aren’t taking our catches,” he said.
Jones claimed that struggling opener Sharjeel Khan is the right man to open the innings for Pakistan in the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
“I don’t think Sharjeel Khan is struggling, that is the way he plays. He dropped that one catch, the confidence is not completely there. I will tell you why he is there. I think Sharjeel Khan is good enough to open the batting for Pakistan in the World Cup. I still think Pakistan has got a weakness in their batting order and they don’t know who should open the batting or bat down the order. I hope Sharjeel gives me two or three wins with the bat. The boy has won me and Islamabad a title,” he said.