Imad Wasim, the spinning allrounder, believes Karachi Kings are peaking at the right time after ousting Islamabad United, the defending champions, in the playoff game in Sharjah on Wednesday (March 1).
Imad finished with 3 for 18, including the key wickets of Misbah-ul-Haq and Shane Watson, as Karachi set a new record for defending the lowest total, 126, in the history of the Pakistan Super League, winning by a massive 44-run margin.
They now face Peshawar Zalmi in the last playoff fixture in Dubai on Friday, the winner of which will meet Quetta Gladiators in Sunday’s final in Lahore.
“Obviously we are peaking at the right time,” said Imad, who was declared the man of the match. “The way we won against Lahore (Qalandars) and now against Islamabad, these wins have lifted us. If you win one or two matches like this, then you get a lift and the team combination becomes good.
“We need to win the next game against a good Peshawar team so we that are on the right track. Two more wins will give us the title.”
Imad was supported by Mohammad Amir, the paceman who took 3 for 7, and Usama Mir, the legspinner who finished with 3 for 24.
Imad said defending a low total meant Karachi needed to keep picking up wickets. “We needed wickets because we couldn’t have restricted them as they have a good team,” said Imad of Islamabad, for whom only Asif Ali batted with purpose while scoring 39.
“We knew we had to get them out, to give 100% was the only way to win. The wicket was on the low side and we were 20-30 short but still the way we won by this margin was great.”
Imad praised Kumar Sangakkara, the skipper who took a diving one-handed catch high to his right to dismiss the dangerous Dwayne Smith.
“In such a game, if you drop a catch or take a brilliant catch, it affects the momentum,” said Imad. “The way he keeps wickets is remarkable, he took a brilliant catch and that lifted us. Then Amir, Usama and I bowled well, which was great.”
Imad said Karachi had the belief that they could win. “If you don’t believe, then there is no point. Whatever is the total, you have to defend it and give it a shot and then the result is not in your hand. We knew that sice the total was 126, we had to bowl them out. We fielded well, bowled well and the captaincy was good, so we won.”
He also has words of praise for Mir, his spinning partner. “Usama does support me because he is a wicket-taking bowler and that makes my job easier,” said Imad. “He is bowling well, so my job becomes different but we all were bowling for wickets and that also helped.”