Cricket-Rizwan
Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan, captain of Multan Sultans, spearheaded his team's chase with 76. Image Credit: AFP File

Lahore: Defending champion Multan Sultans kept Karachi Kings searching for their maiden victory in the Pakistan Super League by registering a thumping seven-wicket win against Babar Azam’s team on Wednesday.

Multan has 14 points from eight games and is now assured to finish among the top two in the play-offs with two more league games still to play.

The 2020 champion Karachi is yet to get its first points, losing all five games at home and now three in a row in the Lahore-leg of the event.

Multan once again showed its depth in the batting order, reaching 175-3 with three balls to spare to the dismay of Babar, who will be leading Pakistan in the next month’s three-test home series against Australia.

‘‘We lost this game due to poor overs and poor fielding as well,’’ Babar said. ‘‘If the team does well, the form comes back, but we have to give 100% and come back.’’

Needing 29 off the last two overs, Karachi had a chance to break its seven-match losing streak, but Khushdil Shah (21 off 9 balls) smacked England fast bowler Chris Jordan for two sixes and a four in a 20-run over to seal the game for Multan.

Captain Mohammad Rizwan (76) and Shan Masood (45) had provided Multan a century-stand before Shah’s power-hitting denied Karachi their first win this season.

Karachi’s inability to bowl well in the death overs throughout the tournament continued as fast bowler Jordan finished with 1-50 and Umaid Asif went for 0-41.

Earlier, Babar’s (2) lean patch in the event continued but still Karachi managed to score its highest total of 174-6 while batting first this season.

Joe Clarke topscored with 40 and shared a 72-run second wicket-stand with Sharjeel Khan (36). Allrounder Imad Wasim played a little cameo with an unbeaten 32 off just 16 balls with five fours and a six which lifted Karachi total in the end.