DUBAI — Fast bowler Mohammad Amir, steadily rebuilding his career after being convicted of spot fixing, powered Karachi Kings to a seven-wicket victory over Lahore Qalandars with a stunning hat trick in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) here Friday.
The 23-year-old bowled West Indian Dwayne Bravo with the second ball of the 19th over followed by the wickets of countryman Zohaib Khan (caught behind) and another Caribbean player, Kevon Cooper (lbw), to finish with 3-27 in his four overs.
His hat trick restricted a star-studded Lahore team to 125-8 which Karachi Kings overhauled in 15.5 overs for a seven-wicket win. Lendl Simmons remained unbeaten on 62 and Shakib Al Hasan hit 51.
“I am feeling great,” Amir said. “With every game I am getting into my rhythm and it’s great for me as well as for Pakistan.”
Amir returned to international cricket in January, playing in the three-game Twenty20 series against New Zealand after completing a five-year ban in September last year.
Amir, along with Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, was banned on charges of arranging deliberate no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England in 2010.
All three players were jailed in the UK in 2011.
Amir received some sympathy as he was just 18 at the time of the spot-fixing scandal and for pleading guilty before the courts.
That helped him clinch a relaxation in his ban in January last year after the International Cricket Council amended its code of conduct, allowing banned players to feature in domestic matches a few months prior to their suspension ending.
Amir took an impressive 86 wickets in four-day and Twenty20 domestic matches, which forced the selectors to include him on the tour of New Zealand.
The Pakistan Cricket Board is hosting its inaugural Twenty20 league with five teams competing at the neutral venues of Dubai and Sharjah.
The league ends February 23.
Lahore Qalandars 125-8 (S. Maqsood 22, Md Rizwan 37 — Md Amir 3-27) lost to Karachi Kings 131-3 in 15.5 overs (Simmons 62 not out, Shakib 51).
All-rounder Mohammad Nawaz clinched 4 for 13 to set up Quetta Gladiators’ eight-wicket victory over Islamabad United Thursday.
Quetta’s captain Sarfaraz Ahmed opted to bowl and it proved a wise decision as his new-ball bowlers kept Islamabad tied down for much of the innings. None of the top five batsmen were able to cross 15 runs and Nawaz was responsible for dismissing three of them.
Islamabad was 63 for 6 in the 15th over when its captain Misbahul Haq (41 off 28) and Andre Russell (35 off 20) slammed 57 runs in 27 balls to lend some respectability to the total, posting 128-7.
In reply, Luke Wright finished unbeaten with 86 off 53 balls with 11 fours and four sixes to wrap the match up for Quetta with 24 balls to spare.
All-rounder Nawaz shone with the bat also by making 22 runs.
Islamabad 128-7 (Misbah 42, Russell 35 — Md Nawaz 4-13) lost to Quetta 132-2 in 16 overs (L. Wright 86 not out, Md Nawaz 22). — Agencies