Rizwan-led Sultans beat Babar's Kings by seven wickets in PSL7 opener
Karachi Kings lost the opening match of the seventh edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) to Multan Sultans at National Stadium on Thursday.
Earlier, a three-wicket haul by Imran Tahir restricted the hosts to an easy total of 124 runs after Multan Sultans captain Mohammad Rizwan won the toss and decided to bowl first.
Sharjeel Khan (43) and Babar Azam (23) tried to build a strong opening stand in the match but the pair was broken by Khushdil Shah who removed Azam.
King’s Joe Clarke made 26 runs while Mohammad Nabi scored 10 runs.
Beside Tahir’s three-wicket haul, Shahnawaz Dahani and Khusdil Shah took one wicket each.
As Sultans turned to the crease, skipper Mohammad Rizwan played a fine 52-run not-out knock to help his team start this year's PSL campaign on a winning note.
Sultans chased down the 125 run target in 18.2 overs with Shan Masood (26) and Sohaib Maqsood (30) remaining notable scorers besides Rizwan.
Earlier today, Kings suffered a blow as three key players – Mohammad Amir, Imad Wasim and Jordan Thompson – tested positive for Covid-19.
Babar Azam, who made the record for most T20I wins as captain in a calendar year with 20 in 2021, will lead Karachi Kings. Mohammad Rizwan, first-ever batter to score more than 1,000 T20I runs in a calendar year, will lead Multan Sultans.
Babar Azam: “I am very excited to be leading Karachi Kings this season. This is the first instance that I will be captaining a side in the HBL PSL and I am looking forward to it.
“The first match of the tournament always has a lot of eyeballs and Multan Sultans can prove to be a tough opposition. I am sure the fans will get to see a thrilling contest.
“Peter Moores is a seasoned coach and I have had fruitful discussions with him. Karachi Kings will display good, competitive cricket this season.”
Mohammad Rizwan: “We have all the potential to defend our HBL PSL title and we will be taking the field tomorrow with that mind set. This season will present us new challenges and we will have to plan accordingly.
“Babar Azam is a wonderful batter and captain, and his leadership will certainly have a good impact on Karachi Kings. I am hopeful that the HBL PSL 7 will kick off with a great contest between the two sides.”
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