KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Karachi Kings ended their three-match losing streak with a resounding 67-run win over defending champion Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League on Sunday.
Multan Sultans earlier routed batting powerhouse Islamabad United by 52 runs for their third successive win at home to take an early lead in Pakistan’s premier domestic Twenty20 competition with six points from four games. Six teams are competing.
Karachi was asked to bat first and finally got its combination right with James Vince (46) and Matthew Wade (36) providing a rollicking start, leading their team to 185-5 against the world’s leading T20 fast bowling pair of Shaheen Shah Afridi (1-39) and Haris Rauf (1-35).
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir (0-23) then squeezed Lahore in the middle overs before fast bowlers Akif Javed (4-28) and Ben Cutting (2-12 in one over), playing their first game for Karachi this season, claimed the last four wickets in the space of five balls. Lahore was bowled out for 118 in 17.3 overs.
Vince and Wade put on a 70-run opening stand off 43 balls against some scratchy Lahore bowling as Afridi started with two successive wide balls. Lahore hit back briefly in the middle overs as Karachi slipped to 124-4 when Zaman Khan clean bowled Vince off a perfect yorker in the 14th over.
But skipper Imad Wasim (35 not out off 19) provided a late flurry as Karachi, which won only one out of 10 league games in a disappointing last season, added 55 runs in the last five overs.
At Multan, half centuries by David Miller (52) and captain Mohammad Rizwan (50) formed the cornerstone of Multan’s formidable total of 190-4 after Islamabad skipper Shadab Khan won the toss and chose to field.
The pace trio of Abbas Afridi (4-22), Ihsanullah (2-19) and Mohammad Ilyas (2-12) was ably supported by some superb catching by Multan players as Islamabad was bowled out for 138 with 13 balls left.
Afridi claimed the wickets of top-scorer Rassie van der Dussen (49), Faheem Ashraf (4) and Mohammad Wasim (0) in the 17th over that included a splendid catch of Ashraf’s mistimed pull shot off his short-pitched delivery.
The tournament’s early leading wicket-taker Ihsanullah wrapped up the game by dismissing Tom Curran and Abrar Ahmed as Islamabad lost the last five wickets for seven runs.
Fast bowler Ilyas — drafted into the Multan squad after Pakistan international Shahnawaz Dahani was ruled out from the PSL due to a hand injury in the first game against Lahore Qalandars — bowled brilliantly upfront. He removed openers Paul Stirling and Hassan Nawaz during the batting powerplay.
Earlier, Miller hit his blistering knock off 25 balls that featured three successive sixes in an over from Shadab (1-42) which went for 24 runs, as Multan kept pushing the scoring rate in the latter half of the innings.
Rizwan and Rilee Rossouw (36) laid a solid base with a second-wicket stand of 91 runs after Shan Masood (4) yet again fell early for the fourth successive game.
Rossouw and Rizwan were out in successive overs before Miller took charge. Rossouw was brilliantly taken in the deep by van der Dussen, who timed his jump to perfection, while Rizwan was trapped leg before wicket by Shadab off a fuller delivery as the Multan skipper misjudged a sweep.
Kieron Pollard provided a perfect finish with a breezy 32 not out off 21 balls that included three successive boundaries against expensive fast bowler Mohammad Wasim (1-49) in the final over.
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