DUBAI: In a thrilling encounter, Karachi Kings downed Lahore Qalandars by five wickets in the 18th fixture of the Pakistan Super League at the Dubai International Stadium here on Saturday. Kieron Pollard played a blistering knock of 45 off just 20 balls, seeing Karachi home on the last ball of the match. Karachi required 14 runs in the final over to chase down the 156-run target set by Lahore, and Pollard did it in style by smashing a six on the last ball. In doing so, he left Lahore on the verge of first-round elimination again. Opener Babar Azam lead the chase for Karachi, scoring 49 off 42 balls, which included seven boundaries. Babar paired up first with Mahela Jayawardene – who replaced Chris Gayle in the starting XI – and then with Kumar Sangakarra to ensure they were in control of the required rate, and had wickets in hand. But accurate bowling from Lahore’s spin pair of Sunil Narine and Yasir Shah starved Karachi of boundaries, and as the asking rate began to rise, so did the tension. Sangakarra’s men lost their heads in the middle briefly, with Ravi Bopara and Shoaib Malik running themselves out in a space of a few overs. Pollard and Imad Wasim then came together in a partnership that always seemed like they had slightly too much to do, never more so than when they needed 10 to win off the last two balls. Pollard was up to the task and took 12 runs. Earlier, batting first, Lahore had scored 155 runs for the loss of six wickets in their allotted 20 overs. Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan and skipper Brendon McCullum were the main run scorers for Lahore with 32 and 31 runs respectively. Poor shot selection at inopportune times kept pegging them back, with Umar Akmal and Grant Elliott falling in similar fashion, slicing the spinners up in the air. Malik deserved credit for his 2 for 21, which helped ensure Lahore’s total was just within reach. With the win, Karachi pipped Lahore to fourth place, and, unless they lose by a massive margin to Islamabad United on Sunday (today), they will go through to the playoffs.